At this time, Brittney GrinerRussia’s whereabouts are unknown. On Wednesday, her legal team revealed that officials had begun transferring Griner from a detention center to a penal colony to serve her sentence.
Follow related press, Brittney left the center outside Moscow on Nov. 4. Officials would not release the address of her destination until Griner got there. By way of escape, penal colonies are the common type of prison in the country and resemble labor camps, where “Those who are forced to work for the minimum wage.”
Russian officials will notify Griner’s legal team and the US Embassy of her location through official letters, according to the statement. The New York Times. However, it could be up to two weeks before the first announcement lands. AP also reported that “Getting to Griner Can Be Difficult” when she arrived in the colony, as most were located in remote parts of the country.
However, Brittney is not the only one to go through a lengthy Russian transition with limited characterization and no communication with the outside world. NYT say it’s a “Perennial practice in Soviet and Russian systems” it is called “Stage.”
Penalty colony move expected after loss appeal in October
This transfer is not surprising, mainly after Brittney lost the lawsuit two weeks ago. In August, a Russian court found her guilty of conspiracy to smuggle and possess drugs. The court sentenced her to 9 years in prison in a penal colony plus a fine of $16,300 or one million rubles.
The ruling comes after Russia detained Brittney for months after customs discovered two vape boxes containing hashish oil in her luggage. During the trial, Brittney insisted that she had no intention of breaking Russian laws or endangering the country’s population. Instead, she claimed the transportation of illegal substances was “an honest mistake.”
Once found guilty, Griner’s legal team quickly filed an appeal. However, a court closed it down in October. The judge only gave Brittney time to serve her sentence, meaning each day of her pre-trial detention would count as 1.5 days of reduced sentence. Ultimately, Brittney could spend about eight years in a penal colony unless the US strikes a deal with Russia.
This is where the White House stands above the Griner
Despite the apparent lack of action, the White House supported Griner from the start. In May, US officials claimed that Russia had wrongly detained the American basketball star. After her conviction in August, he released a statement calling for “Instant Release” of Griner and another American prison named Paul Whelan.
By October, the White House had tripled calls for Brittney’s release and accused Russia of conducting a “sham political procedure”.
“We learned from Russia that Brittney Griner will continue to be wrongfully detained in intolerable circumstances after undergoing another sham trial today. President Biden has been very clear that Brittney should be released immediately,” said National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.
In early October, Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, said that Brittney shared that she felt the same way she did. “Life doesn’t matter.” And days before she lost the case, Brittney’s lawyer Alexandr D. Boykov revealed that she was “afraid” of serving the full sentence.
Cherelle Griner is fighting to bring home her wife, Brittney Griner, who was sentenced to nine years in prison.
She fears the worst: “I don’t know if she has anything left in the tank to keep waking up every day and in a place where no one is.” pic.twitter.com/WR4fm5RRUt
– CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) October 6, 2022
This story is evolving.