Brittney Griner has made an attraction to President Joe Biden in a letter handed to the White Home by means of her representatives saying she feared she would possibly by no means return house and asking that he not ” neglect about me and the opposite American Detainees.”
Griner’s agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas mentioned the letter was delivered on Monday. Many of the letter’s contents to President Biden stay personal, although Griner’s representatives shared just a few strains from the hand-written be aware.
″… As I sit right here in a Russian jail, alone with my ideas and with out the safety of my spouse, household, pals, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I am terrified I is likely to be right here endlessly,” Griner wrote.
“On the 4th of July, our household usually honors the service of those that fought for our freedom, together with my father who’s a Vietnam Conflict Veteran,” the Phoenix Mercury middle added. “It hurts desirous about how I often have a good time at the present time as a result of freedom means one thing utterly completely different to me this 12 months.”
The 2-time Olympic gold medalist is within the midst of a trial in Russia that started final week after she was arrested on Feb. 17 on costs of possessing hashish oil whereas returning to play for her Russian staff. The trial will resume Thursday.
Fewer than 1% of defendants in Russian prison instances are acquitted, and in contrast to in U.S. courts, acquittals may be overturned.
The White Home Nationwide Safety Council confirmed the White Home has acquired Griner’s letter.
“We consider the Russian Federation is wrongfully detaining Brittney Griner,” NSC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson mentioned on Monday. “President Biden has been clear about the necessity to see all U.S. nationals who’re held hostage or wrongfully detained overseas launched, together with Brittney Griner. The U.S. authorities continues to work aggressively – utilizing each accessible means – to deliver her house.”
Griner pleaded with Biden within the letter to make use of his powers to make sure her return.
“Please do all you may to deliver us house. I voted for the primary time in 2020 and I voted for you. I consider in you. I nonetheless have a lot good to do with my freedom you could assist restore,” Griner mentioned “I miss my spouse! I miss my household! I miss my teammates! It kills me to know they’re struggling a lot proper now. I’m grateful for no matter you are able to do at this second to get me house.”
Griner has been in a position to have sporadic communications with household, pals and WNBA gamers by means of an electronic mail account her agent arrange. The emails are printed out and delivered in bunches to Griner by her lawyer after they’re vetted by Russian officers. As soon as the legal professionals get again to their workplace, they will scan any responses from Griner and cross them again to the U.S. to ship alongside.
She was imagined to have a telephone name along with her spouse on their anniversary but it surely failed due to an “unlucky mistake,” Biden administration officers.
Griner’s supporters have inspired a prisoner swap just like the one in April that introduced house Marine veteran Trevor Reed in trade for a Russian pilot convicted of drug trafficking conspiracy. The State Division in Could designated her as wrongfully detained, shifting her case below the supervision of its particular presidential envoy for hostage affairs, successfully the federal government’s chief hostage negotiator.
Griner is not the one American being wrongfully detained in Russia. Paul Whelan, a former Marine and safety director is serving a 16-year sentence on an espionage conviction.