Brittney Griner moved to Russian penal colony to serve sentence

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U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, looks on inside a defendants' cage before a court hearing in Khimki outside Moscow, Russia August 2, 2022. REUTERS/Evgenia

US basketball participant Brittney Griner, who was once detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with unlawful ownership of hashish, appears on inside of a defendants’ cage ahead of a court docket listening to in Khimki outdoor Moscow, Russia August 2, 2022. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool

WNBA megastar Brittney Griner has been transferred to a penal colony to serve the rest of her nine-year sentence following her conviction for bringing medication into Russia.

Her attorneys showed Thursday that the Phoenix Mercury middle is at a penal colony in Yavas within the Republic of Mordovia, about 310 miles southeast of Moscow.

“First, on behalf of Brittney, we wish to thank everybody who has expressed handle her,” her attorneys, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, stated in a remark, in line with CNN. “We will verify that Brittney started serving her sentence at IK-2 in Mordovia.

“We visited her early this week. Brittney is doing in addition to may well be anticipated and looking to keep sturdy as she adapts to a brand new atmosphere. Taking into consideration that it is a very difficult duration for her, there will probably be no additional feedback from us.”

On Wednesday, america State Division stated it has now not won reputable notification of the transfer, which reportedly took place November 4. A spokesperson stated the embassy in Russia had “persisted to press for more info about her switch and present location.”

A 2021 document from the State Division about human rights in Russia stated prisoners in penal colonies had been subjected to harsh prerequisites reminiscent of torture, solitary confinement or banishment to psychiatric gadgets. Compelled exertions is permitted whilst prisoners are detained.

The Biden management and the Richardson Middle for International Engagement had been engaged in efforts to loose Griner, 32, in addition to a fellow American detainee, Paul Whelan. He is also being held in Mordovia to serve a 16-year sentence after being convicted on espionage fees, which he has denied.

The Biden management considers each Griner and Whelan to be wrongly detained.

Griner appealed her sentence, which the Russian courts upheld ultimate month. She was once taken into custody at an airport close to Moscow in February when officers discovered vape cartridges containing hashish. Griner stated she didn’t intend to move the drug as she hurriedly packed to go back to her offseason basketball staff.

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Brittney Griner’s 9-year drug sentence upheld by means of Russian court docket

EXPLAINER: Who’s Brittney Griner and what’s her destiny in Russia?

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