Brittney Griner Writes to Biden Asking for Help to Leave Russian Jail

WNBA big name Brittney Griner — who has been held in Russia since February — on Monday made a right away attraction to President Joe Biden for his assist to free up her and different American citizens detained whilst out of the country in a handwritten letter dropped at the White Area.

Griner’s representatives launched excerpts of the letter, wherein the pro basketball participant stated she used to be “terrified” she may by no means depart Russia.

“As I sit down right here in a Russian jail, on my own with my ideas and with out the safety of my spouse, circle of relatives, buddies, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I am terrified I could be right here endlessly,” the Phoenix Mercury participant wrote.

“At the 4th of July, our circle of relatives usually honors the carrier of those that fought for our freedom together with my father who’s a Vietnam Warfare Veteran. It hurts fascinated about how I most often have a good time nowadays as a result of freedom method one thing totally other to me this 12 months,” she added.

Griner, 31, has been held in Russia since mid-February, when officers alleged that they’d came upon vape cartridges with cannabis oil in her baggage whilst she used to be touring thru Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.

She used to be within the nation to play for UMMC Ekaterinburg, the Russian skilled ladies’s crew the place she spends the WNBA offseason.

Simply days after Griner’s arrest, Russia introduced its invasion of Ukraine, which has cratered diplomatic members of the family with the USA and different western nations, with Biden and different international leaders enacting a raft a sanctions towards Moscow.

Griner’s trial started on Friday. She faces as much as ten years in jail.

In her letter, the participant instructed Biden that she voted for him within the 2020 presidential election and requested that he additionally paintings to assist unfastened different folks detained in international nations.

“I understand you’re coping with such a lot, however please do not fail to remember about me and the opposite American detainees. Please do all you’ll to deliver us house. I voted for the primary time in 2020 and I voted for you. I consider in you. I nonetheless have such a lot excellent to do with my freedom that you’ll assist repair,” she wrote. 

“I pass over my spouse! I pass over my circle of relatives! I pass over my teammates! It kills me to grasp they’re struggling such a lot at this time. I’m thankful for no matter you’ll do at this second to get me house,” she added.

Remaining week, Griner’s spouse, Cherelle Griner, instructed CNN that the basketball participant has been pressured right into a small cage for hours on finish each and every time she has to make an look in courtroom.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin, stated past due closing month that Griner used to be now not being held “hostage,” however presented no timeline on her doable free up.

“She violated Russian legislation, and now she’s being prosecuted,” he instructed NBC Information. “It is not about being a hostage. There are many Americans right here. They are playing their freedoms … however it’s important to obey the regulations.”

Adrienne Watson, a spokesperson for the Nationwide Safety Council, on Monday stated in a remark that the federal government used to be operating to safe Griner’s freedom.

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