New information from Brittney Griner’s lawyers is revealing that the whereabouts of the WNBA star is currently unknown. As Mamas Uncut and At the Buzzer previously reported, Griner was sentenced to 9 years in a Russian prison after she was found with less than a gram of hash oil in her luggage.
Now, her lawyers have revealed that after her appeal was denied, Griner has been sent to a penal colony but nobody knows where exactly. “We do not have any information on her exact current location or her final destination,” Griner’s attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov said in a statement, BuzzFeed reported.
While it’s unclear when anyone will be notified of Griner’s whereabouts, her lawyers say they expect to learn of her final destination by mail once she arrives at the penal colony, which is described as a prison camp where prisoners are housed in barracks and forced to perform labor. According to reports, the vast majority of Russian prisons are penal or exile colonies, and as Axios reveals, “reports of sexual violence, unsanitary conditions, and even torture have surfaced in recent years” from those being held in penal colonies.
“Our primary concern continues to be BG’s health and well-being,” Griner’s agent, Lindsay Colas, said in her own statement. “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.”
During the Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards on Tuesday night, Cherelle Griner opened up about her wife, Brittney Griner, being detained overseas in a Russian prison.
“I’ve spent the last eight months riding waves of grief and to be honest, total disbelief,” Cherelle said, discussing the emotional impact that losing Griner has had. “I can’t believe that I’m standing in front of you guys today and living without my favorite person, my greatest love, my sanctuary.”
In February 2022, the WNBA player was taken into custody by Russian officials when airport security found marijuana cartridges in her luggage. She spent months detained, patiently awaiting a trial, and unsure of what the future had in store for her.
However, when she finally presented her case to a Russian court over the summer, she was convicted of drug possession and sentenced to nine years in prison.
Since the incident, the United States government has been working hard to bring the basketball legend back to American soil. Following her sentence, attorney’s requested an appeal of her charges, which was later denied. As of now, no one is sure when the WNBA player will return home.
Cherelle Griner encourages written letters to support Brittney
In the midst of the ceremony, Cherelle also voiced a heartfelt message dedicated to her wife. “Babe I’m missing everything about you. Especially your friendship,” the law school graduate began. “I catch myself picking up my phone, only to sit it back down because your voice is the only voice I want to hear.”
“I’ll likely talk your ear off once you’re home. I know your heart is heavy right now babe. I wish you were here to feel all the love that surrounds you. You are not forgotten,” she continued. “So, keep your head up champ. This too shall pass! I love you and I cannot wait for the day that I get to embrace you! Love, Relle.”
In addition, Cherelle relayed that the support of fans across the world means the world to Griner. While she awaits her return to the United States, the basketball star is encouraged by letters from fans. According to her wife, it makes a very large difference in keeping her spirits up.
“She is 100% not okay, and there is little I can do to ease her pain. But I believe from the bottom of my heart that while I can’t bring her back, words can make a difference,” said Griner’s wife.