- WNBA star Brittney Griner wrote a letter to Biden urging him to assist get her launched from Russia.
- Griner has been detained since February, when she was accused of carrying vapes with cannabis oil.
- “I voted for the primary time in 2020 and I voted for you,” she wrote to Biden. “I imagine in you.”
The WNBA star Brittney Griner, who has been held in Russia since February, on Monday made a direct attraction to President Joe Biden for his assist in liberating her and different Individuals who’ve been detained whereas overseas in a handwritten letter delivered to the White Home.
Griner’s representatives launched excerpts of the letter, wherein the skilled basketball participant mentioned she was “terrified” she may by no means depart Russia.
“As I sit right here in a Russian jail, alone with my ideas and with out the safety of my spouse, household, buddies, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I am terrified I is perhaps right here perpetually,” the Phoenix Mercury participant wrote.
“On the 4th of July, our household usually honors the service of those that fought for our freedom together with my father who’s a Vietnam Battle Veteran. It hurts fascinated about how I often rejoice at the present time as a result of freedom means one thing utterly totally different to me this yr,” she added.
Griner, 31, has been held in Russia since mid-February, when officers alleged that that they had found vape cartridges with cannabis oil in her baggage whereas she was touring via Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.
She was within the nation to play for UMMC Ekaterinburg, the Russian skilled ladies’s crew the place she spends the WNBA low season.
Simply days after Griner’s arrest, Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, which has cratered diplomatic relations with the USA and different Western international locations, with Biden and different world leaders enacting a raft a sanctions in opposition to Moscow.
Griner’s trial started on Friday. She faces as much as ten years in jail.
In her letter, the participant instructed Biden that she voted for him within the 2020 presidential election and requested that he additionally work to assist free different people detained in overseas international locations.
“I notice you’re coping with a lot, however please remember about me and the opposite American detainees. Please do all you may to convey us residence. I voted for the primary time in 2020 and I voted for you. I imagine in you. I nonetheless have a lot good to do with my freedom you can assist restore,” she wrote.
“I miss my spouse! I miss my household! I miss my teammates! It kills me to know they’re struggling a lot proper now. I’m grateful for no matter you are able to do at this second to get me residence,” she added.
Final week, Griner’s spouse, Cherelle Griner, instructed CNN that the basketball participant has been compelled right into a small cage for hours every time she has to journey for courtroom appearances.
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for President Vladimir Putin, mentioned late final month that Griner was not being held “hostage,” however supplied no timeline on her potential launch.
“She violated Russian regulation, and now she’s being prosecuted,” he instructed NBC Information. “It isn’t about being a hostage. There are many Americans right here. They’re having fun with their freedoms … however you need to obey the legal guidelines.”
Adrienne Watson, a spokesperson for the Nationwide Safety Council, mentioned in a press release on Monday that the federal government was working to safe Griner’s freedom.