According to the brother of an American prisoner in a Russian jail, women’s basketball sensation Brittney Griner lives a life of deprivation.
The former Olympian and center for the Phoenix Mercury pled guilty to cocaine possession and smuggling charges on Thursday.
“I’d like to plead guilty, your honor. But there was no intent. I didn’t want to break the law,” Griner said, according to Reuters. “I’d like to give my testimony later. I need time to prepare.”
In February, she was held at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport when investigators reported discovering vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage. Thursday during the hearing, she stated that she had placed the goods there inadvertently due to her hasty packing.
Now Griner, who has been jailed in Russia since February, faces a possible 10-year prison sentence.
Her cell likely has “ancient” plumbing, according to USA Today, which interviewed David Whelan, whose brother is being held in Russia. Paul Whelan, who served in the Marine Corps, was accused of being a spy, a charge he denies.
“When they talk about buildings being Stalin-era, they’re not kidding,” David Whelan said.
He said his brother’s first cell had no toilet, only a hole in the ground.
“Prisoners have to maintain the cleanliness of their cell, and so it was at first quite filthy, since the previous occupant had not seemed concerned about cleanliness,” Whelan said. “You are allowed a weekly shower and a daily walk.”
Whelan stated that prisoners such as Griner who have not yet been condemned are often permitted one hour of sunlight every day. The remaining 23 hours are spent in confinement.
Regarding food, Whelan stated, “there is no interest in nutrition.” According to him, many inmates supplement their diet with food brought in by family or friends.
According to him, gangs or guards manage Russian jails, and violence is commonplace within them.
More on this story via The Western Journal:
Whelan said his brother’s prison combines prison and labor, a fate that could await Griner.
Elizabeth Rood, the U.S. embassy’s deputy chief of mission in Moscow, met with the WNBA star on Thursday and gave her a letter from President Joe Biden. CONTINUE READING…