The WNBA’s Brittney Griner has reportedly been relocated to a Russian labor camp at an undisclosed location to serve out the rest of her nine-year sentence for the possession of cannabis oil vape cartridges in violation of Russian narcotics laws.
Griner was arrested in February while in Russia competing in the WNBA offseason when she was stopped at the airport and searched. She was convicted of narcotics possession in August.
The Biden administration released a statement on Wednesday condemning Griner’s relocation. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated, “Every minute that Brittney Griner must endure wrongful detention in Russia is a minute too long.”
She continued: “As the Administration continues to work tirelessly to secure her release, the President has directed the Administration to prevail on her Russian captors to improve her treatment and the conditions she may be forced to endure in a penal colony.”
“The U.S. Government is unwavering in its commitment to its work on behalf of Brittney and other Americans detained in Russia – including fellow wrongful detainee Paul Whelan,” Jean-Pierre added.
U.S. President Joe Biden said he expects Russian leader Vladimir Putin to get more serious about discussing the release of U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner and a potential prisoner swap https://t.co/MCxbZ0NqZc pic.twitter.com/mbENwiTqUn
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 10, 2022
“I had no idea that it was possible to arrange a real concentration camp 100km from Moscow,” Navalny said, adding his head had been shaven.
“Video cameras are everywhere, everyone is watched and at the slightest violation they make a report. I think someone upstairs read Orwell’s ’1984,’” Navalny added.
Maria Alyokhina of the band Pussy Riot told Reuters, “This is not a building with cells. This looks like a strange village, like a Gulag labor camp.”
“It actually is a labor camp because by law all the prisoners should work. The quite cynical thing about this work is that prisoners usually sew police uniforms and uniforms for the Russian army, almost without salary.”
She described the labor camp as being split between a factory area where the prisoners worked and a “living zone” where she and eighty other women lived in a single room with three toilets and no running hot water.