Concerns For Brittany Griner Grow After Former Inmate Reveal 17-Hour Work Days, Cooking, Cleaning, No Days Off At Russian Penal Colony

Brittney Griner continues to stay in the headlines as people are trying to rally for her release. The WNBA star has been stuck in Russian since February after officials in Moscow found vape canisters and cannabis oil in her luggage. Her wife, Cherelle Griner, has been trying to keep awareness around her case until a real solution is found, but it seems like things just continue to get worst for their family. Most recently she “disappeared,” with details on her new facilities harsh conditions coming light after her lawyers located her whereabouts.

Last month, Cherelle spoke with CBS news anchor Gayle King, saying her wife was at her “lowest point.” Brittany was prepping for her October 25th hearing and hoping to appeal her charges. Cherelle was preparing for the worst; Brittany being transferred to a labor camp if they denied her appeal. Brittany had been detained for over a month before news of her imprisonment made headlines in her home country back in March. The Houston, TX native pleaded guilty to smuggling substances into Russia and faced up to nine years locked away.

Griner has been playing basketball professionally in Russian since 2014 and had a medical marijuana prescription in Arizona. Unfortunately, that has not helped her in Russia. “I say she’s strong because how are you still standing? How are you still alive going through this?” Cherelle Griner told Gayle last month. “B.G.’s at her absolute weakest moment in life right now. She’s very afraid about being left and forgotten in Russia.”

Unfortunately, Griner did lose her appeal in Russia and began her nine-year sentence and reportedly began serving her time in a forced labor camp earlier this month. Reports state that she was moved without the knowledge of her legal team, and they had no idea where she was being held. Griner finally surfaced and it turns out she is being held in the harshest facility in the country. A former inmate from the same facility recently confirmed just how bad it is there and how she’s “concerned” for Brittany.

Nadya Tolokonnikova is a musician of the punk rock band P**** Riot. Nadya was held in the same place in August of 2012 for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” and sentenced to two years there. According to her, the place Griner was sent is the worst in all of Russia. Nadya says she was subject to human rights abuse on a daily bases and that prisoners are basically tortured. She recalls prisoners having to work up to 17 hours a day without breaks and required to cook, clean and sew.

U.S officials have been trying to secure her release, offering to make a prisoner trade with Russia but have yet to secure a deal. The United States has offered to trade notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for Griner, and another U.S citizen held captive in Russia, Paul Whelan. Comic Loni Love chimed in on IG, claiming that there’s a much larger play at plan for them keeping Griner. “Reminder that normally, if this happened to a foreigner in Russia, the punishment would be deportation. Because of her status, the Russians are using her as a pawn to the US for something bigger in the future.”

We’ll keep you updated as we learn more information on the status of Britney Griner’s release.

About John Davidson

John Davidson is a California native who enjoys hip hop music, skiing and traveling international. Davidson graduated from USC majoring in Journalism.

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