It has been eight months since Brittney Griner has been jailed in a Russian prison over alleged drug charges. Just this week, her appeal from the nine-year sentence that she was so harshly slapped with was denied, which means that the WNBA star is now set to be transferred to a Russian penal colony. At this point, things are about to get so much worse for her.
Brittney Griner will enter a system of isolation, grueling labor and psychological torment when she is transferred to a penal colony, the successor to the infamous Russian gulag, to fulfill a nine-year sentence handed down Tuesday in Moscow, former prisoners and advocates said.
Sadly, that's not the worst part, further reports indicate that Brittney Griner will likely be subjected to all sorts of abuse in the infamous penal colony:
“Conditions in prisons and detention centers varied but were often harsh and life threatening,” a 2021 State Department report on Russian human rights abuses said. “Overcrowding, abuse by guards and inmates, limited access to health care, food shortages, and inadequate sanitation were common in prisons, penal colonies, and other detention facilities.”
It was also stated that “physical and sexual abuse by prison guards was systemic” within the colony, and that the fact that Griner is gay makes the situation even more horrific for her. Rumors suggest that her sexual orientation might have actually played a significant role in her detainment.
“Russian prisons are grim, even relative to prisons in other countries. And the Putin regime has ramped up hostility towards gays and lesbians as part of its broader policy of hard-line nationalism,” said Muriel Atkin, a Russian history professor at George Washington University.
Calls for Griner's release have been loud and plentiful. Recently, NBA commissioner Adam Silver revealed that the league has been doing everything in its power to try assist in the facilitation of Griner's release. Likewise, the United States government has been actively negotiating the same. Unfortunately, none of these have come to fruition.