A report by The Nation political sports writer Dave Zirin released just before Thanksgiving, calls Brittney Griner’s sentence in Russia’s ‘land of prison’ will likely be brutal”.
Zirin shared that the penal colony IK-2, where Griner has been sent is “notoriously racist and homophobic”. He noted that at the labor camp prisoners worked 16-hour days, sewing police army and guard uniforms.
Nadya Tolokonnikova, a member of the social activist band from Russia Pussy Riot, spent two years in a Mordovia labor camp, the same area that Griner has been sent to. She told MSNBC that, “beatings and torture” are common, while medical care hardly exists.
Zirin ponders if Griner will be provided a bed that she could fit in, standing at 6’8”.
Earlier this month a statement was released about Griner sharing, “Brittney is doing as well s could be expected. Despite the fact she is alone and now nearing her nine month in detention separated from her loved ones, she is trying to stay strong.”
Monday at a White House press conference, John Kirby was asked about the report on Griner and any update. Kirby shared that they are still working on getting Griner released and that they are working on continued conversations about her release. He declined to make comment on her condition, but they are doing the best they can to stay on top of it.
Zirin’s article goes on to attack Americans who have been critical of Griner. Zirin wrote “both the anti-drug law-and-order crowd and the right-wing “cult of Putin and Russian authoritarianism” crowd want to see her punished for no other discernible reason than her identity and politics.” He also called Griner a totem of the culture war.
Griner was detained at the airport when cannabis oil was found in her luggage. She then faced trial and was sentenced to 9 years for violating Russian law. Her case was appealed unsuccessfully and she has now been sent to a penal colony.
The Biden administration has made it clear they are working on getting Giner and Paul Whelan released.
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