Inside bleak prison Brittney Griner could be spending nine years in
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Featured Image Credit: REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo/Dmitrov TV
WNBA star Brittney Griner is set to serve nine years at a Russian prison after being convicted of cannabis smuggling and possession yesterday.
Griner has already announced she will be appealing the sentence, but until then will be expected to carry out her sentence as normal.
Although it’s not yet been revealed where she will sent for her sentence, there’s a possibility she could remain at the same facility she has spent the last six months.
Correctional Colony No. 1 or IK-1 is a women-only prison located in the village of Novoye Grishino, outside of Moscow.
Footage of the grey building show barbed wire propped on top of perimeter walls, while inside there is a Russian Orthodox church and a sewing factory where inmates work.
Journalist Yekaterina Kalugina visited Griner at the prison and told The New York Times about what she saw.
Kalugina said Griner would wake up and eat her first meal of the day in her cell before being taken out to the courtyard to get some exercise, the rest of the day was then spent reading or watching (Russian) television.
Thirty-one-year-old Griner has been detained in Russia since 17 February after police at Moscow’s airport said they found vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage.
Giving evidence at her trial last month, Griner said: “I would like to plead guilty on the charges against me. But I had no intention of breaking any Russian law.”
On Thursday (4 August), she was sentenced to nine years in prison and fined a million roubles (£13,500).
Before the sentence was handed down, an emotional Griner said: "I want to apologise to my teammates, my club, my fans and the city of (Yekaterinburg) for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I brought on them.
"I want to also apologise to my parents, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury organisation back at home, the amazing women of the WNBA, and my amazing spouse back at home."
US President Joe Biden denounced the verdict and sentence as ‘unacceptable’.
He said: “I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates.”
He went on to say that he would continue to work to bring home Griner and Paul Whelan, an American imprisoned in Russia on an espionage conviction.
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