It’s been nearly 120 days since Brittney Griner has been detained inside of a Russian prison without speaking to her family or friends.
Enough is enough.
Earlier last week, we learned that a Russian court extended Griner’s pre-trial detention for another 18 days. Griner was arrested four months ago after Russian officials said they found vape cartridges containing hash oil in her luggage. Curiously, Russian officials didn’t publicly report her detainment for multiple weeks.
That was the first of many red flags surrounding Griner’s case.
Originally, there was muted reaction to Griner’s imprisonment among athletes, including her teammates with the Phoenix Mercury. Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, didn’t speak publicly about her case until May 25.
Then she went on “Good Morning America,” and pleaded with the Biden Administration to bring Brittney home.
Early on, there was some thinking that turning Griner into a political symbol would harm her chances of a just resolution, Jeffrey Kahn, a law professor at Southern Methodist University, told me in March.
The fear was that public outcry over Griner’s detention would cause Putin to use her as negotiating leverage with the U.S. Russia has become a pariah state since invading Ukraine in late February, facing harsh economic sanctions.
But it seems as if Putin got to that point, anyway. Read more.