May 30, 2024

U.S. condemns ‘continued wrongful detention’ of Brittney Griner following ruling in Moscow upholding sentence

The United States on Tuesday morning condemned the “continued wrongful detention” of Brittney Griner following a ruling in Moscow upholding her nine-year sentence.

Griner, 32, was convicted in August of smuggling and possessing cannabis oil. A Russian court near Moscow on Tuesday rejected her appeal.

“We are aware of the news out of Russia that Brittney Griner will continue to be wrongfully detained under intolerable circumstances after having to undergo another sham judicial proceeding today,” White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement.

Sullivan added, “President Biden has been very clear that Brittney should be released immediately. In recent weeks, the Biden-Harris Administration has continued to engage with Russia through every available channel and make every effort to bring home Brittney as well as to support and advocate for other Americans detained in Russia, including fellow wrongful detainee Paul Whelan.

“The President has demonstrated that he is willing to go to extraordinary lengths and make tough decisions to bring Americans home, as his Administration has done successfully from countries around the world. The Administration remains in regular touch with representatives of the families, and we continue to admire their courage in the face of these unimaginable circumstances.”

Griner’s lawyer, Alexander Boykov, told the court that “no judge, hand on heart, will honestly say that Griner’s nine-year sentence is in line with Russian criminal law.”

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