Brittney Griner speaks out one year on from her release from a Russian prison… as she calls for attention to turn to other Americans ‘wrongly detained’ around the world: ‘Our work here is not done’
Brittney Griner has drawn attention to other Americans being “wrongfully” detained around the world on the one-year anniversary of her release from a Russian prison.
Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in basketball, was found with a vape cartridge containing less than a gram of hash oil when she entered Russia to play for UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA offseason, which she had done every year since 2014. .
After being sentenced to nine years in prison on drug smuggling charges despite being deemed wrongfully detained by the US government, the Phoenix Mercury star also lost an appeal for a lesser sentence and was eventually transferred to the Russian penal colony 270 miles southeast of Moscow. .
That was until she was released in a prisoner swap for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout on December 8, 2022 – and a year after that emotional day, Grimer has released a statement ahead of the Christmas period.
WNBA star Brittney Griner has spoken out a year after her release from a Russian prison
Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia for drug smuggling after he was found with a vape cartridge containing less than a gram of hash oil upon entering the country.
She was eventually released in a prisoner exchange on December 8, 2022, and a year later, Griner is raising awareness to turn to other Americans 'wrongfully detained' around the world
“Hello everyone,” she wrote on Instagram. 'This time of year is all about spending time with loved ones. One year ago today, thanks to President Biden, his team, and the support of many of you, our family was one of 58 families healed by this administration. Our family was able to spend the holidays together, a priceless gift.
'The past year has been a whirlwind and we are grateful for all your support.
“Even as we celebrate this season, and as our family celebrates today, we must remember that our work is not done. Americans continue to be wrongfully detained in countries around the world, including Paul and Evan in Russia and several Americans in Venezuela.
“As you gather with loved ones and participate in your family's traditions, please tell them how much you love them and also take a moment to reflect and share a story, send a letter or call a representative about one of many Americans are kept away from their families this holiday season.
'I wish you and your family a happy holiday together.'
Since her release on this day last year, Griner has advocated for the return of other Americans imprisoned abroad. And to further tell her own story, the 6-foot-1 All-Star has teamed up with ESPN and Disney Entertainment to release a documentary and scripted series about it.
US President Joe Biden commented on her release last year as she was considered a “high-profile” detainee due to her US celebrity status.
The Phoenix Mercury player will tell her story after teaming up with ESPN and Disney Entertainment to release a documentary and scripted series
Fears also grew over how Grinner's treatment would be skewed as a woman, a minority and a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
“She's safe, she's on the plane, she's on her way home,” Biden said at the White House on December 8, 2022.
“After months of being wrongfully detained in Russia under unbearable conditions, Brittney will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones, and she should have been there all along,” Biden continued.
'This is a day we have been working towards for a long time. We never stopped pushing for her release.”