Basketball player brittney griner reportedly detained in russia …

    WNBA star Brittney Griner, 31, has been detained in Russia since February after officials allegedly found illegal cannibal oil in her luggage at a Moscow airport. now, she will go to prison.

    His arrest came shortly before Russia began its war in Ukraine, and geopolitical tensions undoubtedly made his release difficult.

    Reading: Basketball player brittney griner reportedly detained in russia …

    ms griner’s family, friends and fans, along with many public figures, have been calling for russia to release her for months and for the us state department to intervene. uu.

    His trial began on July 1, days after a court ordered his detention extended until December.

    returned to court on Thursday, July 7, and pleaded guilty to drug charges that could face her up to 10 years in prison.

    Here’s everything we know about the ordeal.

    ms griner plays for the phoenix mercury wnba team at center.

    He also previously competed with the United States Olympic basketball team in 2016 winning gold at the Rio Games and collecting his second winner’s medal in Tokyo last summer.

    She is an accomplished basketball player, having won the best female athlete award at the espys and an endorsement deal with nike in 2013.

    On February 17, Mrs. griner was traveling through sheremetyevo international airport in moscow when russian customs officials allegedly found cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage.

    ms grner was arrested at the airport on charges of large-scale transportation of illegal narcotics, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

    On June 27, Russian courts extended the detention of Ms. griner until December 20.

    His trial began on July 1 with a closed-door hearing, after which he refused to speak to reporters.

    The Russian government presented evidence that the WNBA star “purchased two cartridges for personal use, containing 0.252 grams and 0.45 grams of hashish oil,” according to a court report by the state news agency TASS.

    the trial resumed on July 7, with mrs. griner holding up a photo of his wife cherelle as she told the judge she would plead guilty, according to courtroom reporters.

    “I would like to plead guilty, your honor. but there was no intention. I didn’t want to break the law,” said Ms. griner, speaking in English, which was later translated into Russian for the court.

    “I would like to give my testimony later. I need time to prepare.”

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    ms griner was eventually sentenced to nine years in prison.

    “Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is yet another reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is arresting Brittney by mistake,” Joe Biden said in a statement shortly after it was read. the verdict. “It is unacceptable and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends and teammates. My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every avenue possible to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.”

    ms grner had been to russia to play basketball in the russian first division.

    many american athletes travel abroad during the us offseason. uu. to continue competing in the sport they choose.

    Off-season foreign leagues provide American athletes with additional opportunities to earn money and the chance to keep their skills sharp through non-stop competition.

    wnba stars like ms griner typically earn, on average, only 1.5 percent of the salary their male counterparts in the nba earn in a year, so playing outside the us is a lot more difficult. uu. it often helps offset that pay disparity.

    ms grner reportedly earns $1 million per season he plays in russia while his base salary at phoenix mercury is said to be $221,450.

    supporters of mrs. griner, along with her family and friends, have been calling for her release for months.

    Democratic Congressman John Garamendi told CNN that securing his release will be “very difficult” due to ongoing political tensions between Russia and the United States over the war in Ukraine.

    There are some US officials who have theorized that Russia is using the detention of Ms. griner as a political bargaining chip.

    pentagon official evelyn farkas has said she fears mrs. Griner is used by Russia as a “high-profile hostage” to secure prisoner exchanges with the United States.

    On March 23, a diplomatic official was granted access to visit Ms. griner in russia and said that he was in “good condition”.

    Russian monitors also checked out mrs. griner and reported that she was fine with the exception that the bed in the facility where she is detained was not built for someone of her height.

    More than 40 organizations, including the naacp, the human rights campaign, glaad, the national urban league, and the women’s national basketball players association, sent president joe biden and vice president kamala harris a signed letter asking them to to make a deal with Russia to secure his release.

    <p>US WNBA basketball superstar Brittney Griner sits inside a defendants' cage before a hearing at the Khimki Court outside Moscow on 27July </p>

    A prisoner swap was reportedly first considered on 15 May, with Ms Griner potentially being returned to the US in exchange for arms dealer Viktor Bout. Mr Bout was convicted in 2011 of conspiracy to kill American citizens and officials, of delivering anti-aircraft missiles, and of providing aid to a terrorist organisation. He is currently being held in a US penitentiary.

    us secretary of state antony blinken said he has spoken with cherelle griner and that his top priority was to secure the release of americans imprisoned in russia.

    “I have no higher priority than making sure that Americans who are illegally detained in one way or another around the world come home,” he said.

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    “that includes paul whelan, that includes brittney griner, that includes people in several other countries.”

    cherelle griner spoke to the reverend al sharpton about his wife’s detention in russia, describing the wnba star as “feisty”.

    “She’s there terrified, she’s there alone,” he said.

    mrs. griner shared her fears directly with mr. biden in a letter when he began his trial.

    In excerpts shared by her representatives, she writes: “As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey or any achievement, I am terrified I could be here forever.”

    cherelle griner issued new criticism of the biden administration’s handling of the case on July 5, calling it “very discouraging” for not having heard from the white house about his imprisoned wife.

    “I won’t be quiet anymore,” Cherelle Griner told CBS. “I will find that balance of harm versus help and push our government to do everything they can because being quiet means they are not moving, they are not doing anything.”

    <p>Brittney Griner holds up a photo of players from the recent all star game wearing her number</p>

    The White House responded by insisting that Ms Griner’s case is a “priority” – before Mr Biden and Ms Harris spoke with the basketball star directly.

    “the president called cherelle to assure her that he is working to secure brittney’s release as soon as possible, as well as the release of paul whelan and other american citizens who are unjustly detained or held hostage in russia and around the world ,” the White House said in a statement.

    “He also read her a draft of the letter that the president will send today to brittney griner.”

    The statement added that other officials such as mr. blinken and national security adviser jake sullivan have been in previous contact with cherelle griner about the situation.

    on july 27, mr. biden formally offered to trade the fight for mrs. griner and mr. whelan, as previously discussed, according to us government officials. uu.

    “We certainly hope that Russia will participate favorably in it, but I don’t want to go into any more detail about it,” John Kirby, strategic communications coordinator for the National Security Council, told reporters in the White House Journal. Press conference.

    “we believe this is a serious proposal and we want the Russians to take it seriously as well.”

    in mid-august, former nba titleholder dennis rodman announced that he planned to travel to russia to try to secure the freedom of mrs. griner.

    “i got permission to go to russia to help that girl”, said mr. rodman to nbc news. “I’m trying to go this week.”

    mr. Rodman has previously engaged in unorthodox diplomacy. He has visited North Korea several times over the past decade and befriended Kim Jong Un, and once called Russian President Vladimir Putin “great” after a visit to Moscow in 2018. It is unclear how he intends to secure the release of the mrs grinder.

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