WNBA star Brittney Griner will be locked up in a Moscow jail for at least another two months, according to the Russian state news agency TASS.
“The court granted the petition of the investigation and extended the term of detention of U.S. citizen (Griner) until May 19,” TASS said in relaying info it got from the Khimki Court press service, NBC News reported.
As previously reported, Griner has been held in the Russian jail since February after she was arrested over vaporizer cartridges containing THC oil found in her carry-on luggage at an airport. Apparently, Russia’s drug laws bear quite the resemblance to “war on drugs” America because the offense—the possession of f****** cannabis oil—could carry a sentence of up to 10 years.
According to TMZ, the Phoenix Mercury center, who had played for Russia’s UMMC Ekaterinburg in the off-season, pleaded not guilty in court Thursday. In the meantime, Griner is reportedly remaining strong with the support of some of the women she’s locked up with.
Ekaterina Kalugina, a member of Public Monitoring Commission, told TASS that Griner is sharing a cell with two inmates who “had no previous convictions and are charged with drug-related articles.”
They have helped her order books, Kalugina told KASS — Dostoevsky and a biography of Rolling Stones members.
She added that Griner has had no complaints, but is, at 6-foot-9, too tall for the standard jail bed.
Here in the states, President Joe Biden has alerted Congress that his administration is working on a solution to Griner’s situation, and on Wednesday, former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her support by tweeting “Free Brittney.”
But with all of this happening in the midst of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and with that conflict having recently resulted in Russia announcing sanctions on Biden, Clinton and other top Democratic officials including current Secretary of State Antony Blinken, we can only hope that Griner doesn’t get swallowed up in the international mess, or used as leverage by Russia and its sanctions.
We all just want her free.
“My heart, our hearts, are all skipping beats every day that goes by,” Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner recently posted to Instagram, NBC reported. “I miss your voice. I miss your presence. You’re our person! There are no words to express this pain. I’m hurting, we’re hurting.”