WNBA star Brittney Griner made a plea for her release to US President Joe Biden via letter on Monday. One of the most successful women's basketball players, Griner, was in detention by the Russian Federal Customs Service in February. However, the detention came after claims of her having vape cartridges with hashish oil in her luggage at an airport.
Her trial began On Friday, if convicted, she might spend up to ten years in a Russian prison. Moreover, rising tensions between Moscow and Washington over the Ukraine crisis are the backdrop of the case.
Excerpts from the letter by Brittney Griner
“As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments I'm terrified I might be here forever,” she wrote in a letter.
“On the 4th of July, our family normally honors the service of those who fought for our freedom including my father who is a Vietnam War Veteran. It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year.”
Days after Brittney Griner's detention, Russia invaded Ukraine. This shattered diplomatic ties with America as well as other western nations. Prompting Biden and other world leaders to certainly impose a slew of sanctions on Moscow. At the first hearing, Griner, was formally informed that she was facing accusations of bringing drugs into the country on purpose. The next hearing will take place on July 7.
Cherelle Griner stated to CNN last month that she believes US ambassadors are not doing sufficient work regardless of their best efforts.“I don't think the maximum amount of effort is being done. Because again the rhetoric and the actions don't match,” she said.
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