The United States is waking up to yet another day of Brittney Griner being in a Russian jail, which is where she will be until at least May.
An official from the US embassy in Moscow found the Phoenix Suns basketball player to be “in good condition,” after they were recently granted consular access to the American athlete who is being detained in Russia, US State Department spokesman Ned Price told CNN.
“U.S. consular official was able to verify that she is doing as well as can be expected,” Price said. “We’ll continue to work closely with her legal team and her broader network.”
She has been held in Russia for more than a month over allegations she was carrying vape cartridges containing oils derived from cannabis through a Moscow airport in February.
Evelyn Farkas, the former deputy assistant secretary of defense, told NBC’s “TODAY” that it remains unclear whether the WNBA star actually had those items on her when she was traveling back to Russia.
“We don’t know whether she brought these hash vaping items into Russia or not. The Russians are notorious for planting drugs and other things on Americans,” Farkas said.
Farkas also questioned Russia’s human rights record.
“Russia has a horrendous human rights record and they’re in a position to release a lot of people being held against their will, not just those three Americans,” he added.
Griner could face up to 10 years in a Russian prison if convicted. Not only that, Russian law expert Peter Maggs of the University of Illinois College of Law predicted that her pending legal case could result in possible time spent at a labor camp.
“You’re talking about five years, not jail time, but a labor camp,” he told the Associated Press. “One thing I find a little worrisome is this extension of her preliminary holding from two months to three months, because you have to go to a higher authority to get it lengthened.”