Connect with us


Griner sends letter to President Biden pleading for his help

“On the 4th of July, our family normally honors the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father who is a Vietnam War Veteran,” the Phoenix Mercury middle added. “It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year.”

The two-time Olympic gold medalist is in the midst of a trial in Russia that started final week after she was arrested on Feb. 17 on prices of possessing hashish oil whereas returning to play for her Russian group. The trial will resume Thursday.

Fewer than 1% of defendants in Russian legal instances are acquitted, and in contrast to in U.S. courts, acquittals might be overturned.

The White House National Security Council confirmed the White House has obtained Griner’s letter.

“We believe the Russian Federation is wrongfully detaining Brittney Griner,” NSC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson mentioned on Monday. “President Biden has been clear about the need to see all U.S. nationals who are held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad released, including Brittney Griner. The U.S. government continues to work aggressively – using every available means – to bring her home.”

Griner pleaded with Biden within the letter to use his powers to guarantee her return.

“Please do all you can to bring us home. I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore,” Griner mentioned “I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my teammates! It kills me to know they are suffering so much right now. I am grateful for whatever you can do at this moment to get me home.”

Griner has been in a position to have sporadic communications with family, friends and WNBA players through an email account her agent set up. The emails are printed out and delivered in bunches to Griner by her lawyer after they’re vetted by Russian officers. Once the attorneys get again to their workplace, they’ll scan any responses from Griner and move them again to the U.S. to ship alongside.

She was supposed to have a phone call with her wife on their anniversary but it failed due to an “unfortunate mistake,” Biden administration officers.

Griner’s supporters have inspired a prisoner swap just like the one in April that introduced residence Marine veteran Trevor Reed in alternate for a Russian pilot convicted of drug trafficking conspiracy. The State Department in May designated her as wrongfully detained, transferring her case underneath the supervision of its particular presidential envoy for hostage affairs, successfully the federal government’s chief hostage negotiator.

Griner isn’t the one American being wrongfully detained in Russia. Paul Whelan, a former Marine and safety director is serving a 16-year sentence on an espionage conviction.

Source link