WNBA player, Brittney Griner is Being Held in What could be the Most Dangerous Prisons in the World


Myah Held, Reporter

I asked some students what comes to mind when I say Russian Prison. Demagorgans, violence, dungeons, cold, and secure are just some words students use when describing what they think it would be like. American WNBA player and two-time gold medalist Brittney Griner has been held in Russian authority since February this year. She was traveling to Russia to meet up with her club team when she was stopped at security for some pot cartridges containing less than a gram of hash oil. She pleaded guilty to her possession charge but said in court she had no criminal intent and was in a rush packing. Her lawyer then also brought a US doctor’s note to the court explaining he had prescribed her medical marijuana, which is not legal in Russia, to help with some pain.

Russia is not being cooperative with the US in negotiating a prisoner trade because of the events taking place in Ukraine and the US not agreeing to help Russia take over. They asked for a prisoner trade with someone who is not being held in the US, but in a German Prison which is not possible. Tuesday, October 25th she was rejected of appeal and is starting her 9-year sentence in Russia. Her attorneys stated, “This result is not what we expected…. We still think the punishment is excessive and contradicts the existing court practice”. The WNBA players association also stated “she is very clearly a hostage” due to the way Russia was trying to negotiate the US reinforcement on completely other events like the takeover of Ukraine. She has already been held for 8 months and now the concern is how fast she will be transferred to one of Russia’s penal facilities as she has been kept relatively safe in Moscow jail during her trial. As of right now, the US is still trying hard to negotiate a prisoner trade to get her back to America but Russia has not responded and will not give a serious counteroffer at this time.