Republicans and Democrats from the US Senate have gathered in support of a resolution calling for the release of basketball star Brittney Griner, who has been held in Russian prisons on charges of drugs since February.
More than 30 senators resolution, This “calls the Government of the Russian Federation to release immediately [Griner]”In all interactions with the Government of the Russian Federation, we file a proceeding with Brittney Griner in the United States and urge her to be released.” “I urge the Government of the Russian Federation to provide access to her consulate while Brittney Griner is in custody.” “I urge the Government of the Russian Federation to respect the human rights of Brittney Griner.” “We express our commitment to Brittney Griner’s support for her family and her commitment to bring her home.”
The resolution further expressed support for Paul Whelan, a U.S. citizen arrested in Russia on suspicion of espionage in 2018, and “all prisoners unfairly imprisoned in the Russian Federation.”
It was written by Arizona’s Democratic Senator Mark Kelly and Kristen Cinema, played by Greener’s WNBA team Phoenix Mercury, Oregon’s Democratic Senator Ron Weiden, and Texas’ Republican Senator John Kelly, home of Greener’s Alma. I did. Baylor University alma mater.
“I worked with the State Department to confirm that the safe return of Brittney Griner was a top priority. This bipartisan resolution also shows that the Senate supports her. Greener is inspiring Arizona and Americans across the country. I was happy to see her and see her talent up close on the court. The Russian government unfairly made Brittney unfair. Detained, and we will continue to work with the government to ensure her safe and prompt return, “Kelly said in a statement Thursday.
“Arizonas have love and praise for Brittney Griner on and off the court,” Cinema said. “The State Department has determined that Britney has been illegally detained. She has returned home in the past.”
Greener was arrested at the Moscow airport on February 17 when he returned to Russia to finish the season at UMMC Yekaterinburg, where he plays during the WNBA’s off-season.
She has been accused of putting hemp oil in her luggage and is facing up to 10 years in prison for drugs.
After her trial began earlier this month, Greener pleaded guilty to the accusation, but said she had no intention of breaking the law.
The detention of Greener shortly before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is widely regarded as a political motive. In May, the US State Department reclassified Greener as “unfairly detained.”
Russia Given suggestion More recently, Grinner may have been fishing for a prisoner exchange involving Victor Bout, a Russian arms dealer who has been serving 25 years in federal prison in the United States.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is facing increasing pressure to take Greener home.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke with Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, earlier this month after Brittney Griner wrote to the president.
“When I’m sitting here in a Russian prison, I’m afraid I’ll be here forever, just in my opinion, without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jerseys, or other achievements. “Masu,” Grinner wrote in a letter.
“I know you’re dealing with a lot, but don’t forget about me and other American detainees,” Grinner continued. “Do everything you can to bring us home. I voted for the first time in 2020 and voted for you. I trust you. I still have a relationship with my freedom. I can help you recover. I miss my wife! I want to meet my family! I miss my teammates! Knowing that they are suffering so much kills me. To go home And I’m grateful for whatever I can do at this point. “