Brittney Griner Is Transferring To Russian Penal Colony, US Government Working 'Tirelessly' For Her Release
Griner is on her way to a penal colony — a facility much harsher than the Moscow jail she's been in.
by Kui Mwai
November 10, 2022 at 3:23 pm
Lawyers Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boyko confirmed in a statement that the basketball star “is now on her way to a penal colony,” and added that Russia typically sends updates regarding prisoner transfers via email, which is why the public has just learned of Griner’s transfer. According to ESPN, her transfer began last Friday.
As for Griner’s current whereabouts, Blagovolina and Boyko are unsure, ET Online reports.
“We do not have any information on her exact current location or her final destination,” they also said.
Penal colonies in Russia are much harsher than the Moscow jail where Griner’s been held since she was detained in February, ESPN reports.
Karine Jean-Pierre, White House press secretary, has made it clear that the Biden administration is doing everything they can to bring the basketball player stateside. She shared that they’ve presented a “substantial offer” to Russia to resolve her situation.
“Every minute that Brittney Griner must endure wrongful detention in Russia is a minute too long,” Jean-Pierre said in a statement. “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.”
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken issued a statement on Wednesday regarding Griner’s transfer, referring the eastern European nation’s decision as “another injustice layered on her ongoing unjust and wrongful detention.”
“We expect Russian authorities to provide our Embassy officials with regular access to all U.S. citizens detained in Russia, including Brittney, as is their obligation,” he said.
He also noted that the Biden administration would “continue to press for fair and transparent treatment” for all Americans held in Russia.
Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, also made a statement regarding Griner.
“Our primary concern continues to be BG’s health and well-being. 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,” she said.
Colas also mentioned that her team is in “close contact” with the U.S. government and the Richardson Center, a private organization committed to bringing detained Americans home. The center, along with the State department, “are using all available resources to determine her whereabouts, ensure her safety and bring her home.”
“We are thankful for everyone’s support, and hope that as we near nine months of detention, that BG and all wrongfully detained Americans will be shown mercy and returned home to their families for the holidays,” Colas added.