Brittney Griner Sent to Russian Penal Colony to Serve Prison Term
After having her appeal rejected by a Russian court, WNBA player, Brittney Griner has been sent to a penal colony to serve out her nine-year prison term in Russia.
According to The Associated Press, her legal team has stated that the imprisoned Griner was taken to a penal colony in Russia to serve her prison sentence for drug possession. The location of the colony is not known at this time but her attorneys said she left a detention center last week on Nov. 4 to head there. They have stated that they have no clue where she will be going but expected to be notified when she is settled there. It’s anticipated that these transfers can take days.
A penal colony differs from a regular prison system as it’s a common type of Russian prison where the prisoners work for minimal pay.
Last month, the Phoenix Mercury basketball player had her appeal rejected as the court upheld the sentence that was handed to her. The WNBA All-Star had been convicted on August 4 after police authorities at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport stated that they found vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage in Russia.
Because she spent some time waiting for her trial in pre-trial detention, the ruling from the Russian court stated that the time she was occupied will be counted as 1.5 days in prison. That reduced her prison time to about eight years instead of the nine she was sentenced to.
A social media post on Twitter revealed last week on Thursday by State Department Spokesperson Ned Price, confirmed that officials from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow met with Griner.
United States government officials have been in negotiations with Russia for a prisoner exchange involving Griner. They have allegedly offered to send Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, nicknamed the “merchant of death,” in exchange for Briner and another imprisoned American, Paul Whelan, who is serving a 16-year sentence in Russia for espionage.
“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 Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a recent press briefing.
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