Russian court extends basketballer Brittney Griner’s detention for months


brittney griner basketballer wnba mugshot russia arrest
Images: Instagram, Supplied

US basketballer Brittney Griner’s worrying detention in Russia has been extended for another two months, according to Russian state media.

Custom officials arrested the two-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA champion at an airport near Moscow on February 17, according to the US government.

Russian authorities accused Griner, who is a lesbian, of having a vape cartridge containing cannabis oil in her luggage.

Griner’s arrest only came to light two weeks ago. Since then, experts and politicians have publicly expressed fears for Griner’s safety and doubts about the case amid tensions between the US and Russia over the war in Ukraine.

US politicians previously said Russia had blocked US consular support for Griner for weeks.

Russian state media has now published new information about the case. State news agency TASS reported a Russian court extended Griner’s detention by two months.

The Khimkinsky court in the Moscow region had “granted the request of the investigation”.

“The court granted the request of the investigation and extended the period of detention of the US citizen Griner until May 19,” the court told the agency.

If a Russian court finds her guilty, the American WNBA star faces up to 10 years in prison.

Ekaterina Kalugina of a state-backed prisoner monitoring watchdog told TASS that Griner had two female cellmates with no previous convictions.

The cellmates spoke English and were helping her to communicate with staff at the pre-trial detention facility and to obtain books, Kalugina said.

A spokesperson for the US State Department cited privacy concerns over Griner’s case but said the department is “doing everything we can to support Brittney Griner to support her family and … to see that she is treated appropriately and to seek her release.”

Brittney Griner’s wife and family ‘hurting’ after her arrest

Brittney Griner’s wife Cherelle has posted messages to Instagram about her detention in Russia.

“People say ‘stay busy.’ Yet, there’s not a task in this world that could keep any of us from worrying about you,” she wrote.

“My hearts, our hearts, are all skipping beats every day that goes by without hearing from you.

“I miss your voice. I miss your presence.

“There are no words to express this pain. I’m hurting. We’re hurting. We await the day to love on you as a family.”

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1 Comment

  1. Bruce Laidlaw
    18 March 2022
    Reply

    Yet another terrible story from Russia!

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