The Russian government denied the appeal of imprisoned WNBA star Brittney Griner last month. Griner previously plead guilty to attempting to smuggle a small amount of hashish oil onto a domestic flight with her Russian Premiere League team. The Russians sentenced her to nine years in prison. All of which will be served in one of Russia’s thirty-five maximum security prisons for women.
Former inmates have previously spoken about the horrors that await Griner. The plight of a former United States Marine also reveals what Griner faces for the next nine years while incarcerated.
Former Marine Trevor Rowdy Reed, who spent almost 1,000 days in Russian custody, was freed in a prisoner exchange in April after he too was sentenced to nine years in Russian custody on allegations he assaulted two local police officers in Moscow.
“You gotta understand, the labor camps in Mordovia, these are pre-Stalin-era prisons, these were literally referred to as gulags,” Trevor’s father, Joey Reed, told The New York Post. “And even though there’s a federal authority for prisons, each warden has wide leeway to do whatever they want until it makes someone angry or leads to bad press.”
Reed’s father also alleged his son was almost “starved to death.”
“To a certain extent, you’re starved just by the food that they give you,” the elder Reed told The Post. “We didn’t show any public photos of my son for about a month and a half because he looked like a concentration camp victim.”
United States president Joe Biden recently reaffirmed his desire to free Griner after the Democratic Party’s surprising performance in the 2022 midterms.