Brittney Griner Sent to Russian Penal Colony to Serve Prison Term

Brittney Griner Sent to Russian Penal Colony to Serve Prison Term

After a Russian court rejected her appeal, WNBA player Brittney Griner was sent to a penal colony to serve her nine-year prison term in Russia.

According to The Associated Press, her legal team has stated that the imprisoned Griner was taken to a penal colony in Russia to serve her prison sentence for drug possession.

The colony’s location is unknown, but her attorneys said she left a detention center last week on Nov. 4 to head there. They have stated they have no clue where she will go but expect to be notified when she is settled there. It’s anticipated that these transfers can take days.

A penal colony differs from a regular prison system as it’s a common type of Russian prison where the prisoners work for minimal pay.

Last month, the Phoenix Mercury basketball player had her appeal rejected as the court upheld the sentence handed to her. The WNBA All-Star was convicted on Aug. 4 after police authorities at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport stated that they found vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage in Russia.

Because she spent some time waiting for her trial in pre-trial detention, the ruling from the Russian court stated that the time she would be counted as 1.5 days in prison. That reduced her prison time to about eight years instead of nine years.

A post on Twitter revealed last week on Thursday by State Department Spokesperson Ned Price confirmed that officials from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow met with Griner.

U.S. government officials have been negotiating with Russia for a prisoner exchange involving Griner. They have allegedly offered to send Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, nicknamed the “Merchant of Death,” in exchange for Griner and another imprisoned American, Paul Whelan, serving a 16-year sentence in Russia for espionage.

“As we have said before, the U.S. government made a significant offer to the Russians to resolve the current unacceptable and wrongful detentions of American citizens Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a recent press briefing.