Brittney Griner’s Russian legal team announced early Wednesday that she has been moved to a forced labor camp. Her exact location is reportedly unknown to her lawyers and U.S. authorities who were made aware of the transfer on Tuesday, even though it was initiated 4 days prior. This comes months after Griner was arrested for trying to enter Russia with cannabis oil.
In a court appearance earlier this year, Griner said “I’d like to plead guilty, your honor. But there was no intent. I didn’t want to break the law.” Griner’s appeal was denied on Oct. 25. as a Russian court upheld her 9-year sentence.
U.S. officials have stated that they’re hopeful that Russia will be more prone to negotiating once the U.S. midterms are over as they don’t want to give the Biden administration any wins. President Biden echoed this sentiment on Wednesday by stating that “”now that election is over hopefully Putin will be willing to negotiate a prisoner exchange.”
Griner was arrested on Feb. 17, when she flew into Moscow with a cannabis cartridge, according to Russian authorities. In one of her court appearances, Griner claimed that she had packed the vape cartridges in her luggage by accident.