Imprisoned WNBA star Brittney Griner, recently moved to a maximum security penal colony for women in Russia, faces nightmare conditions involving rampant racism and homophobia as well as 16-hour workdays.
David Zirin of The Nation revealed Griner’s new conditions in a conversation with TMZ.
Zirin said that “bigotry is commonplace, medical care is nearly nonexistent” and inmates face 16-hour days where they’re “expected to sew the uniforms for police and guards.”
Griner has been imprisoned in Russia since February. She plead guilty to charges she attempted to bring a small amount of hashish oil onboard a domestic flight with her Russian Premier League team. Russian authorities denied Griner’s appeal for freedom last month and moved her to a maximum security penal colony 200 miles to the west of Moscow.
Griner has been the subject of international hostage negotiations between the Russian and American governments. United States president Joe Biden, fresh off the Democratic Party’s surprising showing in the 2022 midterm elections, recently renewed his vow to free Griner and former U.S. Marine Paul Whalen. Aides to Russian premier Vladimir Putin have stressed that Griner’s early release is not a priority for the administration.
Griner is set to be released from custody in 2031.