US Says Basketball Star Brittney Griner ‘Wrongfully Detained’ in Russia

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On Tuesday, America stated that Russia has unjustly detained basketball star Brittney Griner, as her league introduced plans to honour her in any respect venues for the beginning of the season.

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Greater than two months after she was seized amid hovering tensions over Ukraine, the State Division stated that her case was being turned over to Roger Carstens, the US particular envoy in command of hostages.

“The Division of State has decided that the Russian Federation has wrongfully detained US citizen Brittney Griner,” a State Division spokesperson stated.

Calling Americans’ security “among the many highest priorities of the US authorities,” the spokesperson stated the State Division would “present acceptable assist” to Griner.

Washington had earlier been granted consular entry however had stopped wanting commenting on the character of her detention.

Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA champion, was detained at Moscow’s airport on February 17 on prices of carrying in her baggage vape cartridges with hashish oil, unlawful in Russia.

The arrest got here days earlier than Russia defied US warnings and invaded Ukraine, prompting Western powers to impose sweeping sanctions and ship army help to Kyiv.

The WNBA, the Ladies’s Nationwide Basketball Affiliation, introduced that every one 12 venues would characteristic Griner’s initials and jersey quantity 42 emblazoned on the sidelines when the brand new season ideas off Friday.

“As we start the 2022 season, we’re maintaining Brittney on the forefront of what we do by means of the sport of basketball and locally,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert stated in a press release.

“We proceed to work on bringing Brittney residence and are appreciative of the assist the group has proven BG and her household throughout this terribly difficult time,” she stated.

The State Division discovering comes practically per week after america and Russia exchanged prisoners, a scene paying homage to the Chilly Conflict.

Russia within the final trade freed Trevor Reed, a former US Marine accused of drunkenly combating with police.

America additionally says Russia has unjustly detained Paul Whelan, a former safety official at a automobile components firm who was sentenced to 16 years in jail on espionage prices.

Griner, 31, is taken into account among the many biggest feminine basketball gamers together with her ability at “dunking” a ball.

She was taking part in membership basketball in Russia earlier than the resumption of the US season, a typical follow for American stars in search of further revenue.

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