Brittney Griner Shares Message to Supporters From Russian Prison
Imprisoned WNBA superstar Brittney Griner released a message to fans and supporters on her 32nd birthday, which was Tuesday.
“Thank you everyone for fighting so hard to get me home. All the support and love are definitely helping me,” a message released through her lawyers, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, reads.
Griner’s lawyers said that they met with and spent several hours with Griner on Tuesday. “Today is of course a difficult day for Brittney,” they said, adding that the star is “very stressed” about her upcoming appeal hearing for her drug charges, coming up this October 25.
Boykov added that Griner is struggling in large part because it’s been extremely difficult to organize phone calls with her wife (she’s only been able to talk to her twice in eight months) and that she’s been unable to speak to her parents or siblings since her imprisonment started.
Last week, Boykov said that Griner is pessimistic that the upcoming appeal will do any good.
“She is not very much hopeful for the appeal because the first court decision – the verdict showed that the case is totally unjust even by present Russian standards, and we are not hoping for a big release, but of course we hope for the best,” he told ABC News.
Griner was detained in February, and in July, pleaded guilty to drug charges over having two vape cartridges with hashish oil in them in her luggage. She has been sentenced to nine years in prison.
President Biden has said that the conviction was politically motivated, and is trying to work with Russian president Vladimir Putin over releasing Griner. However, last week, Biden said that there has been no movement on the negotiations.