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Russia moves Brittney Griner to forced labor camp

While in the penal colony, the WNBA star's family cannot contact her and does not even know where she is.

Brittney Griner

(Cordon Press)

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Brittney Griner, the WNBA player arrested in Russia for possession of marijuana, has been transferred to a forced labor camp. The U.S. government issued a statement in which it assures that it will continue to work towards her release and demands that the Russian authorities improve her conditions.

Griner has been in prison for nine months since she was detained at Moscow airport with vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage, according to Russian security forces. In October, a Russian court rejected her appeal after she was given a nine-year sentence.

"A minute too long"

The White House issued a statement condemning the move and demanding that the treatment of the athlete be improved. "Every minute that Brittney Griner must endure wrongful detention in Russia is a minute too long," said White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre.

The following press release highlights the Biden Administration's work on Griner's behalf: "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."

In closing, Jean-Pierre reiterated that Griner is not the only U.S. citizen being unjustly held by Russian authorities. "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."