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Brittney Griner, the WNBA star who has been detained in Russia since February, is being moved to a Russian penal colony — a sort of jail facility identified for its brutal dwelling situations — her authorized staff mentioned Wednesday.
The 32-year-old was arrested on the Sheremetyevo Worldwide Airport in Moscow on Feb. 17 and accused of getting into Russia with vape cartridges containing hashish oil, which is prohibited in Russia. She pleaded responsible to carrying the cartridges, saying it was an “trustworthy mistake.” She was sentenced to 9½ years in jail in August, and a decide rejected her enchantment late final month.
“We wouldn’t have any info on her actual present location or her last vacation spot,” her attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov mentioned in a press release. “In accordance with the usual Russian process the attorneys, in addition to the U.S. Embassy, needs to be notified upon her arrival at her vacation spot.”
Russia has one of many highest charges of incarceration in Europe, with nearly 520,000 inmates held in prisons all through the nation, based on the Related Press. Most of its services are generally known as penal colonies as a result of inmates are required to hold out labor throughout their sentences.
The camps share many similarities with the gulags or forced-labor camps used through the Soviet Union, and media investigations have highlighted alleged abuses towards prisoners in penal colonies.
Right here’s what you want to learn about Russian penal colonies
Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who was jailed after recovering from a poisoning assault, described the infamous Penal Colony No. 2, the place he was initially despatched, as “our pleasant focus camp.” He accused guards of denying him correct medical care or the possibility to sleep and described dehumanizing surveillance.
The White Home condemned the choice to maneuver Griner right into a penal colony, with press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying that “each minute that Brittney Griner should endure wrongful detention in Russia is a minute too lengthy.”
“Because the Administration continues to work tirelessly to safe her launch, the President has directed the Administration to prevail on her Russian captors to enhance her remedy and the situations she could also be compelled to endure in a penal colony,” she mentioned in a press release.
Jean-Pierre added that the U.S. authorities had made “a major provide to resolve the present unacceptable and wrongful detentions of Americans,” as Washington seeks to barter a diplomatic answer to free Griner and Paul Whelan, an American former safety marketing consultant serving a 16-year sentence in Russia.
Talking on Aug. 4, WNBA famous person Brittney Griner mentioned she had no intention of breaking Russian regulation after a small quantity of hashish oil was present in her baggage. (Video: The Washington Put up)
However Russia blamed Washington on Tuesday for the dearth of progress, with International Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova saying: “Now we have not seen any need from america to resolve the particular issues of individuals.”