Update 11/28/2022 11:14am:
It was previously reported that Brittney Griner’s legal team had no idea of her whereabouts after she was transferred to a Russian penal colony to serve her 9-year sentence. It was confirmed that Griner was taken to a penal colony in Mordovia. Now, reports have surfaced noting the conditions Griner is in are “horrific.”
Dave Zirin of ‘The Nation’ spoke on the conditions Griner is facing in Mordovia, saying prisoners at the penal colony are “absolutely terrifying.” Zirin went on to say they don’t even know if Griner has a bed to sleep in. Additionally, Zirin spoke on the racism and homophobia Griner may face, which he says is embedded in the fabric of the country and prisons.
It was noted that prisoners have minimal access to health care and are expected to sew uniforms for police officers and guards. A statement was issued by Griner’s camp, saying, “Brittney is doing as well as could be expected.” As of now, U.S. officials are actively in the process of negotiating a prisoner swap with Russia. Stay tuned for more updates.
Update 11/17/2022 3:57pm:
Last week, it was reported that WNBA star Brittney Griner's legal team didn't know her whereabouts after she was transferred to a Russian penal colony to serve her 9-year sentence. On Thursday (November 17), her legal team confirmed that Griner was sent to a penal colony in Mordovia, about 300 miles southeast of Moscow.
Her attorneys, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boikov, released a statement, "We can confirm that Brittney began serving her sentence at IK-2 in Mordovia. We visited her early this week." They added, "Brittney is doing as well as could be expected and trying to stay strong as she adapts to a new environment."
A U.S. State Department spokesperson also commented on Griner, "We are aware of reports of her location, and in frequent contact with Ms. Griner's legal team. However, the Russian Federation has still failed to provide any official notification for such a move of a U.S. citizen, which we strongly protest."
Original 11/09/2022 10:35am:
WNBA star Brittney Griner has reportedly been transferred to a Russian penal colony, which her lawyers confirmed in a statement to CNN. This comes after Griner lost her appeal of her 9-year sentence after being found guilty of bringing cannabis into the country, where she played basketball in the off-season.
Attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov stated, "We do not have any information on her exact current location or her final destination. In accordance with the standard Russian procedure, the attorneys, as well as the US Embassy, should be notified upon her arrival at her destination. Notification is given via official mail and normally takes up to two weeks to be received."
Griner's agent, Lindsay Colas, also revealed that she doesn't know Griner's exact location. Colas stated, "Our primary concern continues to be BG’s health and well-being. As we work through this very difficult phase of not knowing exactly where BG is or how she is doing, we ask for the public’s support in continuing to write letters and express their love and care for her."