Brittney Griner is forced to sit in a “very, very, very tiny cage” for every five-hour journey to court in Russia, according to her wife. Griner, who’s 6 feet, 9 inches tall, was arrested at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow four months ago for allegedly carrying vape canisters with cannabis oil.
Day 1 of the Brittney Griner trial reveals what the @StateDept has been saying is true. BG is being wrongfully detained. The customs agent said they found 0.7 gram of THC. Whether planted or hers, according to Russian law, she should only be facing a FINE not 4 months in jail.
— Victoria Kirby York (VKY) (@VKirbyYork) July 1, 2022
- Griner could face up to 10 years behind bars if convicted. The Russian government has accused Griner of large-scale transportation of drugs, a crime that could carry a sentence of up to a decade behind bars if the two-time Olympic gold medalist is found guilty.
- Her detention continues to be extended. Since her arrest four months ago, Griner’s detention time has continually been extended. During a closed-door hearing held on Monday, June 27, it was extended again for another six months, meaning the 31-year-old will remain in prison until at least December 20, 2022.
- Griner is “exhausted” from the ordeal. Griner’s wife, Cherelle, says that the entire experience, including being kept in a “very, very, very tiny cage” for the round-trip journey to and from court, has left Griner “exhausted.” She told CNN: “It’s really, really difficult. This is not a situation where the rhetoric is matching the action. I do have to unfortunately push people to make sure that the things they’re telling me is also matching their actions and so it’s been the hardest thing to balance because I can’t let up. It’s over 130 days and BG’s still not back.”
- Cherelle believes the US government should be doing more. She said that President Joe Biden should get involved as well and do everything he can to get Griner home. “While everyone wants to tell me they care, I’d love for him to tell me he cares,” Cherelle said.
- Many believe that politics have played a major issue in Griner’s detention. Given that relations between the US and Russia have deteriorated even more since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many believe Griner is being treated more harshly as a form of retribution. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov denied this, saying: “The facts are that the famous athlete was detained in possession of prohibited medication containing narcotic substances. In view of what I’ve said, it can’t be politically motivated.”
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