Now that Brittney Griner‘s stay in a Russian prison has lasted longer than anticipated, she’s being transferred.
She’s been moved from the detention center she was staying at to attend constant court hearings to a Russian penal colony to begin serving her nine-year sentence on drug smuggling charges, according to her legal team.
CBS writes that her lawyers also revealed a more startling fact; that they have no clue where she is while in transit or where she’ll be housed.
She “is now on her way to a penal colony,” lawyers Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov said in a statement. “We do not have any information on her exact current location or her final destination.”
They added that Russia usually sends notifications of prisoner transfers by mail, which means it could take up to two weeks to know exactly where she is. So due to that “standard Russian procedure,” Griner’s legal team and the U.S. Embassy will be notified of her whereabouts when she arrives at the penal colony.
The move comes after last month’s appeal failed and Griner’s nine-year sentence began, stemming from an incident in February when she was arrested at Sheremetyevo International Airport. Security alleged they found vape cartridges containing 0.7 grams of hashish oil. The substance is illegal in Russia, so she was jailed, and months later, the U.S. State Department acknowledged that she was wrongfully detained.
The White House has remained strong that Griner’s imprisonment is unjust, and they continue to explore ways to bring her back to the United States, including a potential prisoner exchange.
“Every minute that Brittney Griner must endure wrongful detention in Russia is a minute too long,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a statement. As the Administration continues to work tirelessly to secure her release, the President has directed the Administration to prevail on her Russian captors to improve her treatment and the conditions she may be forced to endure in a penal colony.”
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