WNBA Star Brittney Griner Moved to Russian Forced Labor Camp to Complete Prison Sentence

Brittney Griner
AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

WNBA player Brittney Griner has now been moved to a Russian forced labor camp to complete her 9-1/2-year prison sentence after being convicted on drug charges in Moscow.

Analysts say that the basketball player will face harsh conditions and her family in the U.S. may not even be allowed to know exactly where she is, according to the New York Post.

Griner was convicted of importing illegal drugs into Russia in August several months after she was arrested in a Moscow airport for having cannabis oil in a vaping cartridge in her luggage.

While vaping cartridges such as the ones in her luggage would be ignored by many western countries, Russia still has strict laws against marijuana in any form. But more especially, Griner presented Russia with a high-profile political victory against the United States and her conviction was a welcome jab at the U.S. as far as Putin’s government is concerned.

Griner tried to appeal her more than nine-year prison sentence, but the Russian court rejected her attempt to get out from under the sentence.

Women's National Basketball Association basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with...

US Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, holds a picture of her team as she stands inside a defendants’ cage before a court hearing in Khimki outside Moscow, on August 4, 2022. (EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Joe Biden’s White House has been entirely powerless to do anything about Griner’s situation, despite the constant pressure from the sports world to do something to get the basketball player released.

“Every minute that Brittney Griner must endure wrongful detention in Russia is a minute too long,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a weak statement, the Post reported.

“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,” the White House statement added.

Biden’s White House has been engaged in useless pleas for a prisoner exchange with the Russian government since Griner was arrested, all to no avail.

“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,” the statement concluded.

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