Brittney Griner Detention In Russia Extended

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Brittney Griner, the American basketball star detained in Moscow on allegations of drug smuggling, will stay in custody for at the very least two extra months, Russian media reported Thursday.

“The court docket granted the request of the investigation and prolonged the interval of detention of the US citizen Griner till Might 19,” a Russian court docket spokesperson advised the Kremlin-controlled press agency TASS.

The outlet Mash additionally reported the information, sharing a video on Telegram exhibiting Griner, 31, strolling down a hallway with two guards.

An individual near the matter advised BuzzFeed Information Griner was OK and has been assembly commonly along with her Russian authorized group whereas in detention. The investigation continues to be ongoing, and a trial date has not been set, the individual stated.

If the investigation is not full by Might, whether or not she is going to proceed to be detained pending trial shall be reassessed then.

A State Division spokesperson advised BuzzFeed Information, “We’re intently engaged on this case and in frequent contact with Brittney Griner’s authorized group.”

The arrest of the WNBA star and two-time Olympic Gold medalist was first reported on March 5, however Rep. Colin Allred of Texas, a member of the Home Overseas Affairs Committee, has stated she was arrested on Feb. 17.

She was detained after customs officers allegedly discovered cartridges of cannabis oil in her baggage at an airport exterior Moscow. She might withstand 10 years in jail.

Griner is a member of the Phoenix Mercury however had been enjoying within the low season for Russia’s UMMC Ekaterinburg group.

TASS quoted Ekaterina Kalugina with Moscow’s Public Monitoring Fee, a bunch that observes jail circumstances, as saying she had met with Griner.

In line with Kalugina, the US consul has not met with Griner, however the State Division spokesperson stated it is as a result of the Russians haven’t allowed this.

“We insist the Russian authorities present consular entry to all U.S. residents detained in Russia, together with these in pre-trial detention, as Brittney Griner is,” the spokesperson stated.

“We now have repeatedly requested for consular entry to those detainees and have persistently been denied entry,” the spokesperson stated. “Russia should abide by its authorized obligations and permit us to supply consular providers for US residents detained in Russia.”

Kalugina stated Griner was calm and had been studying books whereas in detention, however had struggled with the dimensions of the beds as a result of she is nearly 7 toes tall.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has stated he’s restricted in what he can say publicly about Griner’s case resulting from privateness issues, however that US officers will present “each attainable help” to any American detained overseas.

Griner’s spouse, Cherelle, has asked for privacy because the household works to convey her house.

It is believed that officers and Griner’s household are being strategically silent to be able to keep away from making her a high-profile prisoner whom the Russians will need to preserve as a political pawn because the West sanctions the nation over its invasion of Ukraine.

Jason Rezaian, the Washington Submit reporter who was detained in Iran for 18 months, told CNN he suspected that Griner, like him, was being held on trumped-up expenses.

“It is probably the most audacious hostage-taking by a state conceivable,” Rezaian stated.



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