Brittney Griner meets with US officers amid worries over her wellbeing in Russian detention

Griner is dealing with alleged drug costs and up to 10 years in prison.
WNBA famous person Brittney Griner met with U.S. officers on Thursday for the primary time seeing that being held in pre-trial detention in Russia for over a month, consistent with the U.S. State Department.
“The consular officer who visited with Brittney Griner turned into capable of affirm that she is doing in addition to may be anticipated beneathneath those very hard circumstances,” State Department spokesman Med Price instructed newshounds on Thursday.
“We will maintain to paintings very carefully together along with her felony crew, together along with her broader network, to look to it that she is dealt with pretty and that her rights are respected,” he added.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist turned into traveling Russia to play basketball low season and turned into arrested ultimate month at a Moscow region airport for allegedly having vape cartridges in her baggage containing cannabis oil — an unlawful substance in Russia.
She is dealing with drug costs with up to 10 years in prison, consistent with Russian media reports.
Griner’s go to with officers from the U.S. consular officer from the embassy in Moscow comes after the State Department expressed worries over Griner’s wellbeing after Russia prolonged her pre-trial detention to May 19.
Griner, a Houston native, turned into reportedly detained on Feb. 17 — one week earlier than Russia invaded Ukraine.
The invasion escalated tensions among the U.S. and Russia and amid a unstable diplomatic environment, worries over Griner are growing, with a few officers expressing worry that Griner and different Americans jailed in Russia might be used as leverage withinside the ongoing war.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken introduced on Wednesday that the State Department has made a proper evaluation that Russian forces have dedicated conflict crimes in Ukraine.The U.S. additionally imposed a wave of recent sanctions on Russia, together with non-public sanctions on Putin and a number of his near associates, however has persevered to oppose a no-fly area and the deployment of U.S. troops to combat Russia in Ukraine.
Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas, whose district consists of elements of Houston, has known as for the athlete’s launch and instructed ABC’s “Nightline” in an interview ultimate Thursday, that the war among the U.S. and Russia over the invasion of Ukraine need to now no longer have an effect on Griner’s possibilities of being released.
“You know, there are worldwide protocols that need to be held regardless of conflicts,” the congresswoman stated.
“This is a main war. This is a main act of violence. This is an invasion. Brittney Griner had not anything to do with that,” she added.
Price stated on Thursday that “time will tell” whether or not Griner’s go to with U.S. officers is a “one-off go to” or whether or not Russia’s “posture is changing.”
“We need well timed constant get right of entry to to American detainees in Russia, together with the ones in pre-trial detention. That might name for added visits to Brittney Griner and to different Americans who’re detained in Russia,” he stated.
Last week, Price expressed worries that Russia had now no longer yet “authorised” U.S. officers get right of entry to to Griner.
“The Russians are obligated to permit, to permit this kind of consular get right of entry to beneathneath the Vienna Convention,” Price instructed ABC News Live on the time. “We’re going to maintain to insist that they permit us get right of entry to to Brittney Griner simply as we be authorised get right of entry to to all Americans who’re detained in Russia.”
Griner is a seven-time WNBA All-Star, who has been gambling for the Phoenix Mercury seeing that 2013.
The Phoenix Mercury stated in a declaration on March five that the crew is in touch with Griner’s family, representatives and the WNBA and are carefully tracking her case.
“We love and guide Brittney and right now our major problem is her safety, bodily and intellectual health, and her secure go back home,” the Phoenix Mercury stated.