Officials from U.S. Embassy in Moscow visit jailed WNBA star Brittney Griner


Officials on the U.S. Embassy in Moscow visited jailed WNBA star Brittney Griner on Thursday, greater than per week after a Russian court docket rejected her attraction of her nine-year sentence for drug possession.

State Department spokesman Ned Price stated in a tweet that the American representatives “noticed firsthand her tenacity and perseverance regardless of her current circumstances.”

Price stated the Biden administration is continuous to press for the instant launch of Griner and Paul Whelan, who was sentenced in 2020 to 16 years in jail in Russia on espionage-related costs that he and his household say are bogus, and “honest therapy for each detained American.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated Griner “is doing in addition to will be anticipated underneath the circumstances” and that the administration was working “to resolve the present unacceptable and wrongful detentions” of Griner and Whelan.

Griner was was convicted in August after police stated they discovered vape canisters containing marijuana oil in her baggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. Her arrest in February got here at a time of heightened tensions between Moscow and Washington, simply days earlier than Russia despatched troops into Ukraine. At that point, Griner was returning to play for a Russian crew throughout the WNBA’s low season.

She admitted at her trial to having the canisters in her baggage however testified she packed them inadvertently in her haste to make her flight and had no legal intent. Her legal professionals have known as the punishment extreme.

The United States regards Griner and Whelan as wrongful detainees and has been attempting for months to barter with Russia for his or her launch. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated over the summer season that the U.S. had made a “substantial proposal” to Russia to attempt to safe their launch, and President Joe Biden advised kinfolk of Griner and Whelan in a White House assembly in September that his administration was dedicated to bringing them residence.

WATCH | Griner makes remaining plea in court docket:

Basketball star Brittney Griner sentenced to 9 years in Russian jail on drug costs

WNBA star Brittney Griner has been sentenced to 9 years in a Russian jail on drug possession and smuggling costs — a politically charged transfer denounced by U.S. President Joe Biden.

People accustomed to the provide have stated the U.S. had supplied to launch convicted Russian arms vendor Viktor Bout for Griner and Whelan.

There have been no outward indicators of progress since then in the negotiations.

Jean-Pierre advised reporters touring with the president to New Mexico that “regardless of a scarcity of excellent religion negotiation by the Russians, the U.S. authorities has continued to observe up on that supply and propose different potential methods ahead with Russia via all out there channels. This continues to be a prime precedence.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here