Lawyers for American basketball star Brittney Griner on Monday filed an appeal against her nine-year Russian prison sentence for drug possession.
Brittney Griner reacted with little emotion. Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden denounced the verdict and sentence as “unacceptable.”
Since Brittney Griner last appeared in her trial for cannabis possession, the question of her fate has expanded from a tiny, cramped courtroom on Moscow’s outskirts to the highest level of Russia-U.S. diplomacy.
The statement marked the first time the U.S. government has publicly revealed any concrete action it has taken to secure the release of Griner, who was arrested on drug-related charges at a Moscow airport in February and testified Wednesday at her trial.
Brittney Griner contends that she had no criminal intent and that the vape canisters containing cannabis oil ended up in her luggage inadvertently because of hasty packing.
Brittney Griner was arrested in February at the Russian capital’s Sheremetyevo Airport when customs officials said they found vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage. She has been jailed since then, facing up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
The Phoenix Mercury player was detained in February at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport after vape canisters with cannabis oil allegedly were found in her luggage.
Biden's conversation with Griner's wife, Cherelle Griner, followed Brittney Griner's personal appeal to the president in a handwritten letter from the basketball player the White House received on Monday.
Brittney Griner was arrested in February on cannabis possession charges at an airport while traveling to play for a Russian team.
The Phoenix Mercury star could face 10 years in prison if convicted on charges of large-scale transportation of drugs.
The White House says a phone call between jailed WNBA star Brittney Griner and her wife has been rescheduled after an earlier attempt to connect on the couple’s anniversary failed because of an “unfortunate mistake."
A vigil calling for Brittney Griner's release from Russian detainment is set for Monday at 6 p.m. outside Toyota Center in downtown Houston, where Griner is from.
Some members of the Boston Celtics are using their platform at the NBA’s title series to add their voices to the chorus of those demanding WNBA star Brittney Griner be allowed to come home.
The Phoenix Mercury center has been detained since Feb. 17 after vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis were allegedly found in her luggage at an airport near Moscow.
Article 36 of the Vienna Convention requires a country that arrested a foreign national to give the detainee access to their consulate and to give the foreign national the right of consular access.
The WNBPA and its members partnered with the creator of a petition demanding the release of Griner.
Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was detained at the Moscow airport after vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis were allegedly found in her luggage, which could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
The Phoenix Mercury unveiled how their court and other WNBA arenas are going to look as they keep Brittney Griner in mind while the season starts.
"We urge the U.S. government to do all it can to bring Brittney Griner home before she is no longer able to maintain her safety in a nation at war."
WNBA star Brittney Griner was detained at an airport in February after Russian authorities said a search of her bag revealed vape cartridges containing traces of cannabis oil.