Brittney Griner‘s whereabouts are finally known.
The WNBA player’s transfer began over a week ago, and her exact location was kept under wraps until now when she arrived in a women’s penal colony in western Russia.
According to Reuters, Griner will be fulfilling her nine-year prison sentence at Female Penal Colony IK-2 in Yavas, a small town in the Mordovia region and is about 300 miles southeast of Moscow. It’s the same republic where fellow American Paul Whelan is serving his 16-year sentence after getting accused of spying.
The BBC says that the prisoners at that colony are expected to work 12-16 hour days and only have breaks to use the bathroom and eat lunch. The female section is said to be less harsh than the male’s.
Her location was revealed by her lawyers Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, who also visited Griner recently and say she’s doing well given the circumstances.
“First, on behalf of Brittney, we would like to thank everyone who has expressed care for her. We can confirm that Brittney began serving her sentence at IK-2 in Mordovia,” they said in a statement. “We visited her early this week. Brittney is doing as well as could be expected and trying to stay strong as she adapts to a new environment. Considering that this is a very challenging period for her, there will be no further comments from us.”
The U.S. state department is aware of Griner’s new location but still wants the Russians to be more forthcoming about her move to the penal colony.
“We are aware of reports of her location, and in frequent contact with Ms. Griner’s legal team,” the spokesperson said. “However, the Russian Federation has still failed to provide any official notification for such a move of a U.S. citizen, which we strongly protest. The Embassy has continued to press for more information about her transfer and current location.”
The 32-year-old’s unknown location is typical of Russian prison transfers. Legal teams are notified of their client’s transfers by mail, which means it could take up to two weeks to know exactly where they are.
The move comes after last month’s appeal failed and Griner’s nine-year sentence began. It stemmed from an incident in February when she was arrested at Sheremetyevo International Airport for possessing vape cartridges containing hashish oil which is illegal in Russia.
Details Emerge On The Harsh Penal Colony Where Brittney Griner’s Imprisoned was originally published on cassiuslife.com