As previously reported by REVOLT, Griner has been detained in Russia for more than 100 days after a vape pen was allegedly found in her luggage at a Moscow airport in February. Her arrest took place just days before the war broke out between Ukraine and Russia.
Griner now faces up to 10 years in a Russian prison, and her lawyer says she hasn’t had “any complaints about the detention conditions.” However, some are concerned after a photo was shared of the 31-year-old during today’s preliminary hearing (June 27). U.S. lawmakers have also voiced their worries about Griner’s case. They fear that the Russian government may be using her arrest as a form of leverage.
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The news follows the release of former Marine Trevor Reed in late April after being sentenced to nine-years in a Russian prison for endangering police officers in 2020. He was arrested alongside fellow former Marine Paul Whelan. He is currently serving a 16-year sentence on espionage charges.
Reed was released as a part of a U.S.-Russia prisoner swap and many are urging officials to put the same action behind Griner’s case to get her home as quickly as possible. U.S. officials have classified her as “wrongfully detained” with the hope that they will be able to negotiate her release.
Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, previously urged President Joe Biden to step in to help bring her loved one home. “There is one person that can go get her, and that’s our president,” she told Angela Rye in an interview. “He has that power. You know, I’m just like, ‘Why are we not using it? Like, urgently, use it.’ We’re expecting him to use his power to get it done.”