Today (Nov. 9), Olympian Brittney Griner was transferred to a Russian penal colony to begin to serve her nine-year prison sentence overseas. As previously reported by REVOLT, the WNBA star has been wrongfully detained since mid-February after local authorities discovered cannabis oil in her luggage as she traveled through an airport.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre released a statement this morning: “Every minute that Brittney Griner must endure wrongful detention in Russia is a minute too long.” Jean-Pierre continued, “As the administration continues to work tirelessly to secure her release, the president has directed the administration to prevail on her Russian captors to improve her treatment and the conditions she may be forced to endure in a penal colony. As we have said before, the U.S. government made a significant offer to the Russians to resolve the current unacceptable and wrongful detentions of American citizens.”
White House Statement on the Continued Wrongful Detention of American Brittney Griner#RussiaIsATerroristState pic.twitter.com/eOdL2y9zfe
— Alex Raufoglu (@ralakbar) November 9, 2022
Jean-Pierre’s statement noted that Russian authorities have declined to uphold their end of a “good faith negotiation” to release Griner. The press secretary added, “The U.S. government has continued to follow up on that offer and propose alternative potential ways forward with the Russians through all available channels.” Before concluding the release, Jean-Pierre promised that other Americans would not be forgotten in the fight to free the Phoenix Mercury ball player. “The U.S. government is unwavering in its commitment to its work on behalf of Brittney and other Americans detained in Russia — including fellow wrongful detainee Paul Whelan.”
According to Fox News, once Griner is in the penal colony, she will be met with harsh conditions and allowed minimal contact with her family. Today, the athlete’s agent, Lindsay Colas, also shared a statement. “Our primary concern continues to be BG’s health and well-being,” she began. “As we work through this very difficult phase of not knowing exactly where BG is or how she is doing, we ask for the public’s support in continuing to write letters and express their love and care for her,” Colas continued.