The unhappy saga of Brittney Griner took one other flip for the more severe this week, because the WNBA star was transferred from the momentary jail that had served as her house for many of the previous yr to a Russian penal colony in an undisclosed locatuon.
Whereas the distinction between the 2 forms of incarceration may sound negligible to People, those that have survived the Russian jail system say that Griner’s scenario simply turned immeasurably worse.
There are 106 mixed-gender low-security colonies scattered all through the nation, however as a result of the Russian authorities considers drug offenses to be worse than most different crimes, Griner has been despatched to one in all 35 most safety amenities, the place life is alleged to be particularly tough.
The 31-year-old was arrested at a Moscow airport in February after customs officers found lower than a gram of hash oil in her baggage.
In August, she was Griner was sentenced to 9 and a half years in jail.
There have been hopes that the American and Russian governments would prepare a prisoner trade, however talks appear to have stalled.
Attorneys for Griner say they haven’t been knowledgeable of their consumer’s whereabouts.
“We would not have any data on her actual present location or her closing vacation spot,” stated attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov.
“In accordance with the usual Russian process, the attorneys, in addition to the US Embassy, needs to be notified upon her arrival at her vacation spot,” the authorized staff added.
“Notification is given through official mail and usually takes as much as two weeks to be acquired.”
The Russian jail system is shrouded in secrecy, however those that have endured its miseries say it’s little higher than the notorious gulags of Joseph Stalin’s regime.
“In fact it has a bit higher circumstances than [the] authentic gulag system from the Nineteen Fifties,” says Maria Alyokhina who was imprisoned on account of her involvement with the anti-Putin punk rock collective Pussy Riot.
“However the sense is identical. It’s a labor camp,” Alyokhina provides.
“This can be a actually horrible establishment which we acquired from [the] Soviet Union and it’s completely inhuman. The cynical factor is, the work the state supplies to the prisoners is stitching uniforms for Russian police and the Russian military,” the activist tells CNN.
“For 100 girls, there are like three bogs and no sizzling water.”
Activists say the one silver lining in Griner’s case is that the oppressive Russian regime has created an atmosphere wherein prisoners depend on each other for assist.
“We’re dwelling in instances whenever you get despatched to a colony for the slightest doable cause, and so everybody feels that injustice keenly and unite collectively to assist one another, whoever you might be,” former prisoner Galina Yakovleva tells CNN.
Attorneys for Griner say that they hope to no less than decide her whereabouts, however will want help from the Russian authorities so as to receive that data.
Our ideas exit to Griner and her family members throughout this enormously tough time.
We’ll have additional updates on this growing story as extra data turns into out there.