Basketball player Brittney Griner degrades in a Russian penal colony

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Imprisoned so far near Moscow, Brittney Griner was being transferred Wednesday morning to a penal colony, according to her lawyers. The fate of the American basketball player, imprisoned for possession of cannabis-based vaping liquid, is at the heart of a diplomatic standoff between Russia and the United States against the backdrop of the offensive in Ukraine.

Concern grows around the conditions of detention of Brittney Griner. The American basket champion was extracted on November 4 from her prison in Russia and is “on her way to a penal colony”, according to a press release from her lawyers published on Wednesday November 9.

The latter specify that they have “no information on where it is exactly” now, nor on its “final destination”. She was previously imprisoned near Moscow.

US President Joe Biden is demanding that Moscow “improve the treatment and conditions that she may be forced to undergo” in this colony, responded White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre.

“Every minute Brittney Griner has to endure unjustified detention in Russia is a minute too long,” she added.

Negotiations underway for a prisoner exchange

She recalled that Washington had submitted to Russia a “significant offer” for the release of the sportswoman, and another American detained, the former soldier Paul Whelan.

Russian justice rejected on October 25 the appeal of the American basketball player, sentenced in Russia to nine years in prison for cannabis trafficking.

According to Russian diplomatic sources, a possible exchange of prisoners could notably concern Brittney Griner and a trafficker of Russian arms held in the United States, Viktor Bout.

Viktor Bout was arrested in Thailand in 2008 and is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence in the United States.

With AFP


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