Brittney Griner, the America-bashing athlete that refused to appear on court for the National Anthem in the season following George Floyd’s death and who was arrested in Russia for attempting to bring hash oil for her vape into the country, just saw her situation go from bad to much, much worse.
That’s because she’s no longer lounging around in Moscow-area jail, avoiding having to hear America’s oh-so-awful National Anthem. Instead, she’s headed to a forced labor camp.
Fox News Digital, reporting on the Russian Federation’s move of Griner to a forced labor camp, said:
WNBA star Brittney Griner has been moved to a Russian forced labor camp, nearly nine months after the basketball player was arrested in Russia for allegedly possessing cannabis oil.
The development is the latest update after Griner’s appeal of her 9-year sentence was denied by a Russian court last month.
[…]Griner will face harsh conditions in the forced labor camp, and it will be difficult for her family to contact her or even know her exact location. According to her agent Lindsay Colas, Griner’s team is in close contact with the U.S. government and the Richardson Center, an organization that works to release American detainees.
The Biden White House condemned the move of Griner and her continued detention in a statement that was also released early Wednesday morning. Beginning, the statement claimed that Griner is being wrongfully detained and protested at the idea of her having to work in a penal colony rather than sit around in a jail cell, saying:
Every minute that Brittney Griner must endure wrongful detention in Russia is a minute too long. 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. 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. In the subsequent weeks, despite a lack of good faith negotiation by the Russians, the U.S. Government has continued to follow up on that offer and propose alternative potential ways forward with the Russians through all available channels. 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.
This move of Griner to the forced labor camp comes shortly after Griner lost her appeal and began fretting about the potential that the Russians would ship her to a labor camp. YahooNews, reporting on the penal camp situation in Russia at the time Griner lost her appeal, said:
Since the appeals court again rejected those arguments and endorsed the lower court’s initial verdict, Griner soon may have to endure somewhere worse than the Novoye Grishino pre-trial detention center where she has been held the past eight months. Her sentence calls for her to be transferred to a penal colony, where conditions can be more brutal and inmates are required to perform labor during their sentence.
There are hundreds of penal colonies in Russia, many of them scattered across Siberia. Griner’s attorneys are expected to ask for her to be sent somewhere close to Moscow so that they can maintain contact with her, but the final decision will not be theirs.