Forced labor prison camps and penal colonies are devised and run by the exact type of people that the America First movement is trying to protect Americans from being forced to live under. Here is a timely reminder of why Americans need to stay vigilant over their liberty because due process rights are not something that exists all over the world.
This is a tragic story that could happen to any of us- and shows the depravity of many humans throughout the globe who do not respect civil rights.
Brittney Griner was moved to a remote penal colony as her lawyers expressed uncertainty over her exact location.
Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison for carrying vape cartridges containing oils derived from cannabis through a Moscow airport. The White House condemned the move in an early Wednesday morning statement, while Blinken and her lawyers also reacted.
“Following a sham trial and the unjust sentencing of Brittney Griner, Moscow is transferring her from a prison in Moscow to a remote penal colony,” Blinken said. “It is just another injustice on her ongoing unjust and wrongful detention.
“As we work to secure Brittney Griner’s release, we expect Russian authorities to provide our Embassy officials with regular access to all U.S. citizens detained in Russia, including Brittney, as it is their obligation. Ensuring the health and welfare of U.S. citizen detainees in Russia is a priority, and we will continue to press for fair and transparent treatment for them all.
“Our hearts are with Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, as well as their family, friends, and supporters, who all continue to suffer from Russia’s decision to wrongfully detain U.S. citizens. We continue to work relentlessly to bring them home. I am focused on doing so, as are so many others in the Department. We will not relent until they are reunited with their loved ones.”
Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov added in a separate statement they were unsure of Griner’s exact location.
Brittney was transferred from the detention center in Iksha on the 4th of November. She is now on her way to a penal colony,” the lawyers said. “We do not have any information on her exact current location or her final destination. In accordance with the standard Russian procedure, the attorneys, as well as the U.S. Embassy, should be notified upon her arrival at her destination. Notification is given via official mail and normally takes up to two weeks to be received.”
Griner’s agent, Lindsay Colas, expressed concern for Griner’s welfare.
“Our primary concern continues to be BG’s health and well-being,” she said. “As we work through this very difficult phase of not knowing exactly where BG is or how she is doing, we ask for the public’s support in continuing to write letters and express their love and care for her.
“Our team remains in close contact with the U.S. Government and Richardson Center, who are using all available resources to determine her whereabouts, ensure her safety, and bring her home. We are thankful for everyone’s support, and hope that as we near nine months of detention, that BG and all wrongfully detained Americans will be shown mercy and returned home to their families for the holidays.”
Griner was visiting Russia to compete in the WBNA offseason in February when Russian authorities found cannabis oil in her luggage. She was promptly arrested for possessing the vape cartridges and later pleaded guilty and sentenced to nine years in prison.
Jailed American basketball star Brittney Griner has been moved from a detention center outside of Moscow and is being sent to a Russian penal colony to begin serving out her nine-year sentence on drug smuggling charges, her lawyers said Wednesday.
A statement released by Griner’s legal team says they do not have information on Griner’s “exact current location or her final destination.”
The statement also said that in accordance with “standard Russian procedure,” they anticipate Russian authorities will notify Griner’s legal team and the U.S. embassy of Griner’s whereabouts upon arrival at her destination.
Russian prison transfers can extend from several days to several weeks.
The transfer move follows a Russian appeals court decision that upheld Griner’s conviction on drug smuggling charges last month.
The White House assailed the decision as “sham justice” — even as it made clear it continues to work to gain Griner’s freedom through a potential prisoner exchange.
“Every minute that Brittney Griner must endure wrongful detention in Russia is a minute too long,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a statement.
“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,” the statement said.
White House officials also maintain that Griner’s freedom is an administration priority and repeatedly encouraged Moscow to take the deal or propose a serious counteroffer.
Griner was first detained for carrying less than a gram (0.04 oz.) of hashish oil into Russia when she arrived for play in the Russian women’s professional basketball league earlier this year. In August, a Russian court sentenced Griner to nine years in prison.
In court, Griner admitted to mistakenly packing two vape cartridges in her rush to pack her luggage — but provided documents that showed the oil was legally prescribed by her U.S. doctor for pain management. She also never failed a drug test.