Unique-Brittney Griner taken to penal colony in Russia’s Mordovia area

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. basketball participant Brittney Griner, who was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with unlawful possession of hashish, stands inside a defendants’ cage throughout the studying of the courtroom’s verdict in Khimki outdoors Mosco

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By Filipp Lebedev

(Reuters) – U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner has been taken to a penal colony within the Russian area of Mordovia, a supply accustomed to the case instructed Reuters on Thursday.

In August, Griner was sentenced to 9 years in a penal colony on medicine expenses following her arrest at a Moscow airport in February with vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her baggage. She was moved from a detention centre close to Moscow on Nov. 4 to be taken to an undisclosed jail location.

Russian authorities have given no info on her whereabouts for almost two weeks, however the supply stated she had been taken to Feminine Penal Colony IK-2 in Yavas, about 500 km (300 miles) southeast of Moscow.

The colony is in Mordovia, the identical area the place one other American, Paul Whelan, is serving a 16-year sentence in a special penal settlement after being convicted of espionage expenses that he denies.

Requested about Griner’s case, a U.S. State Division spokesperson stated: “We’re conscious of studies of her location, and in frequent contact with Ms. Griner’s authorized group.

“Nonetheless, the Russian Federation has nonetheless failed to offer any official notification for such a transfer of a U.S. citizen, which we strongly protest. The Embassy has continued to press for extra details about her switch and present location.”

Inmates of Russian penal colonies are required to work lengthy hours for meagre pay on tedious handbook duties comparable to stitching. Former prisoners and human rights teams describe situations there as harsh and unhygienic, with little entry to medical care.

Russia and the US have mentioned swapping Griner and Whelan, a former U.S. Marine, for a Russian arms supplier jailed in the US, however no deal has materialized amid heightened tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

At her trial, Griner – who performed within the U.S. low season for a Russian group – stated she had used hashish for aid from sports activities accidents however had not meant to interrupt the regulation and had made an trustworthy mistake by packing the cartridges in her baggage.

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