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Russia Moving Jailed American Basketball Player Brittney Griner to a Penal Colony

Russia Moving Jailed American Basketball Player Brittney Griner to a Penal Colony

“her lawyers don’t know where she is or where she’s heading, her Russian legal team announced early Wednesday in Moscow”

Brittney Griner is the WNBA star who was arrested at an airport in Russia earlier this year when hash oil was found in her luggage. She has been held in a Russian jail for months and is reportedly being sent to a penal colony.

This is serious. Russia’s penal colonies are extremely harsh and are basically a leftover of the Gulag system created under Stalin.

Some people on the right have pointed to Griner’s left-wing politics, but at a time like this, it is crucial to remember that this is a fellow American.

I feel bad for her and her family that Trump is no longer president. He had a talent for negotiating situations like this successfully.

ESPN has details:

Brittney Griner moving to Russian penal colony; exact location unknown

Brittney Griner is being transferred to a Russian penal colony — a move her family has dreaded since Griner’s August conviction on drug charges — but her lawyers don’t know where she is or where she’s heading, her Russian legal team announced early Wednesday in Moscow.

The transfer began Friday, her lawyers said, a day after U.S. embassy officials visited her and far ahead of the schedule they had anticipated after Griner’s appeal was denied Oct. 25. Typically, her attorneys had said, a transfer takes weeks or months. Griner’s attorneys and U.S. officials were not aware she had been moved until Tuesday.

Griner’s family might not know where she is for some time; according to her lawyers, “Notification is given via official mail and normally takes up to two weeks to be received.”

Russian penal colonies are known for having far harsher conditions than the Moscow jail where Griner has been since she was detained in February.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday in a statement that the transfer is “another injustice layered on her ongoing unjust and wrongful detention.”

These places make American prisons look like hotels.

The Biden administration looks absolutely feckless on this. FOX News reports:

“Every minute that Brittney Griner must endure wrongful detention in Russia is a minute too long,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in the statement.

“As the Administration continues to work tirelessly to secure her release, the President has directed the Administration to prevail on her Russian captors to improve her treatment and the conditions she may be forced to endure in a penal colony,” the statement continued.

“The U.S. Government is unwavering in its commitment to its work on behalf of Brittney and other Americans detained in Russia – including fellow wrongful detainee Paul Whelan,” Jean-Pierre concluded.

This cannot be solved by Twitter hashtag campaigns or pleas from liberal celebrities.

If the Biden administration truly wants to bring this American home, they need to get serious and fast.

Featured image via YouTube.


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It might help if everyone from KJP to Fox News stopped spouting the lie that she was “wrongfully” detained.

She did the crime, she should do the time!

The state department warns travelers not to violate foreign laws.

    Remember, she was in Russia to play basketball and make a lot of $$$, which she had done for years. She knew where she was.

    For the last several years, the media and Democrats have drummed into our brains that Russia was evil and we should not do anything with them. But Britney ignored her own leftists and went there solely to make $$$.

    listening to the media and government spokespeople, you would think she was a charity worker or a civil rights icon who got kidnapped and taken to Russia.. She is a wealthy US women’s basketball player who only cared for herself and then ridiculously broke the law.

Watch Resident Stinkyfingers trade an America hating, pothead lefty for an international arms dealing kingpin. Competence is not a thing with lefties.

Other Nations are not the utopia that the ‘blame America first crowd’ believes them to be. They have their own laws, judicial system and prison system. Many Nations are less than sympathetic to the sorts of excuses and cries to coddle convicted criminals that are routine in the USA.

    chrisboltssr in reply to CommoChief. | November 11, 2022 at 10:14 am

    Exactly. Bet Britney Griner appreciates America now, more than ever. The rest of the world is a shitstain compared to America.

      Subotai Bahadur in reply to chrisboltssr. | November 11, 2022 at 5:39 pm

      I would be abs0lutely amazed if there were any such appreciation, assuming she returns here. Without it, she has a lifetime career hating on America. If she expresses anything positive, if she comes back she will be on her own. That is our media and our politics now.

      Subotai Bahadur

It’s nice to read a feel good story for a change.

Are you sure that’s a “she”?

She forgot the Three Ts of Internation Travel: Their country, Their laws, Their jails.

Yes, if Trump were still
President…glad you understand

    gonzotx in reply to gonzotx. | November 11, 2022 at 10:37 am

    Just acknowledging the post from Mike, he wrote it..

    Why all the hate for Mike?

    Haters going to hate

    But on another note, yes she was busted knowing the laws of the country, which she played for 10 years I believe, and then was naive enough to believe her basketball talent protected her.

    In a Country very much in a new Cold War with America … now it’s more than cold, but none the less…

    It’s a horrible sentence, I wish her the fortitude to live through it.

    MattMusson in reply to gonzotx. | November 11, 2022 at 11:01 am

    If Trump were still President, She would have been out months ago.
    And, she would not even have said Thank You.

Always look at the bright side: she will learn to appreciate America after this!

“but at a time like this, it is crucial to remember that this is a fellow American”

Is she really?

Simply being born within the confines of one of the 50 states does not an American make.

    henrybowman in reply to fscarn. | November 11, 2022 at 12:26 pm

    There’s an acronym you see a lot lately: TWANLOC — those who are no longer our countrymen.
    The American Communist Party and the Socialist Workers organization are all about the freeing of Griner.
    I don’t consider someone who wants to destroy the American constitutional system any countryman of mine. As far as I’m concerned, she’s in the briar patch she advocated for the rest of us.

    “If ye love [basketball] wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home [to Commie Russia or Red China] from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

    ― Samuel Adams

Look at all the consequences of her actions she’s enjoying 😂😂

    JohnSmith100 in reply to mailman. | November 11, 2022 at 5:01 pm

    America has for as long as I can remember, allowed jocks to break all sorts of rules and laws. That may have been why she thought she could get away with bringing drugs.

It could be worse. She could have been shot, kicked until her dying breath, or detained indefinitely for indefinite charges in a Whitmer/entrapment scheme.

The war on drugs.

I am sure Biden will negotiate a heckuva deal to release her eventually.

If only there was a president in recent memory who was good at getting Americans back home without sending pallots full of cash and a cadre of terrorists in return …

Doesn’t matter that she is an American citizen. When you go to another country DO NOT BREAK ANY OF THEIR LAWS. Hell, you shouldn’t break laws anywhere but if you’re in a foreign country you are at that country’s mercy or wrath. I don’t like that Griner has been sent to a Gulag, but I don’t know how you get her out.

I understand she committed a crime. But she is an American. If a Russian had that small amount of hash oil on her while in the U.S., she wouldn’t even serve one day in jail. But Griner is going to a Stalin era Gulag for 9 years.

    I have seen any reporting that says her sentence was not with the normal range of her offense that were convicted of the same type of charge.

    healthguyfsu in reply to JR. | November 11, 2022 at 1:12 pm

    The Russian would be subject to US laws. Griner is subject to Russian laws….poly sci 101

    mbecker908 in reply to JR. | November 11, 2022 at 1:17 pm

    Griner is going to a gulag for nine years.



    Paddy M in reply to JR. | November 11, 2022 at 3:02 pm

    Americans are subject to the laws of other countries when in those countries, JR.

    Meanwhile, some Americans have spent almost 2 years in a DC jail with no trial for what amounts to trespassing. Something tells me you’re all about that punishment though.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to JR. | November 11, 2022 at 5:05 pm

    And, by the time she gets out, she will be just another washed up jock.

    CommoChief in reply to JR. | November 11, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    So what? If some Foreign National commits a capital crime in Alabama they may very well wind up on death row and that’s the business of the State of Alabama.

    How about someone from a Nation where sexual assault or rape within their culture is considered, if not normal, then far less serious than in the US? You want to just cut them loose and send them home? Turn them over to their govt? Nope.

Let’s not forget, this leftist skank was one of the many who refused to stand for the US National Anthem and spouted the proven lies underpinning the BLM (bowel) movement.

How you feelin’ about the good ol’ U S of A now, beeotch?

    n.n in reply to Paul. | November 11, 2022 at 11:17 am

    Baby Lives Matter? Oh, you mean Some, Select [Black] Lives Matter, a Pro-Choice ethical religion and non-profit for-profit advocacy (e.g. redistributive change scheme).

    Peabody in reply to Paul. | November 11, 2022 at 11:38 am

    “How you feelin’ about the good ol’ U S of A now beeotch?”

    Anybody who kneels for the US flag because they hate their country and thinks the Star Spangled Banner sucks are welcome to move to Russia and live.

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again… I have little sympathy for people who generate their own problems.

Other countries drug laws aren’t like the USA. Some are downright draconian. She took a stupid chance and it ended up poorly for her.

I’d feel more sympathy if it was planted by someone else, but she said, “Yep, that’s mine.”

So, enjoy making Matryoshka during your stay in the colony.

I get worrying about the mistreatment of Americans overseas.

But I’m only going to do that after the relentless, abusive mistreatment of Americans at home stops.

I’ll worry about political prisoners in Russia once we finish freeing political prisoners at home. It’s cold, harsh, and not very generous of me, but I have no sympathy for those who would support my oppressors.

I though she was gay. Why a penal colony? That’s just mean

Some nations flog their prisoners. Some nations enslave their prisoners. Some nations cannibalize their prisoners’ profitable parts. Some nations delegate redistribution and retribution to advocates and activists. Some nations still engage in the archaic practice of planned prisonerhood.

    paracelsus in reply to n.n. | November 11, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    There are still some civilized(?) nations where a convicted person’s parts may be cut off (with a sword or an axe): hands, heads.

She totally looks like a perfect fit for the Gulag.

Google Translate “fuck around and find out” to Russian

In my opinion this has gone way too far. She has been punished enough. She smuggled in an amount that if found on her person after lawful entry, would garner a $25 fine in Russia. This is simply Putin’s revenge on America.

    I agree. If a Russian athlete came to the U.S. with such a small amount in a state where it wasn’t legal, she would still only be fined. Griner is going to a Gulag for 9 years.

    IneedAhaircut in reply to puhiawa. | November 11, 2022 at 12:42 pm

    What price are you willing this country to pay to get her back?

    Peabody in reply to puhiawa. | November 11, 2022 at 12:43 pm

    Joe Biden agrees with you. He said Griner’s sentence is totally unacceptable.

    Yet there is a prisoner in our country named Allen Russell, who was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of possessing one and a half ounces of cannabis.

    If you’re a famous celebrity every heart will blead for you. But if you are just a regular person nobody gives a shit.

      gonzotx in reply to Peabody. | November 11, 2022 at 1:34 pm

      True that, but why didn’t he get released when President Trump was releasing people on minor crimes with very long sentences ?

        henrybowman in reply to gonzotx. | November 11, 2022 at 2:29 pm

        Because Biden can only pardon federal criminals, and Russell was convicted by Mississippi.

        It’s been widely published that Biden’s “pardon” pardoned no one at all, because no one currently in federal prison is there only for possession.

    moonmoth in reply to puhiawa. | November 11, 2022 at 1:05 pm

    In my opinion this has gone way too far. Yeah — that can happen when you burn your bridges by spitting all over the country that would now have to bargain to release you (i.e., the USA), and when your lawyers won’t stop insulting the country in which you’re imprisoned, by lying that that country had detained you “wrongfully”.

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to puhiawa. | November 11, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    I know it is fashionable to regard the United States as not being a sovereign country where its own laws apply; but as much as I dislike Russia, its government, and its culture of absolute submission of the individual to the State [coming soon here], I have no problem with Russia having sovereignty within its own borders and having the right to enforce its own laws as it chooses. In fact, Russia has some of the harshest laws on possession of cannabis and cannabis products in the world. Yes, at the bottom end conviction of simple possession can be a monetary fine. Quick research did not give me the amount, but I rather suspect it is much higher than $25. But this case also would include the crime of smuggling it into the country. Simple possession of the hashish oil alone could have resulted in a maximum sentence of up to 15 years in prison. She got 9 from what I understand. And she is now being sent to that prison after trial and conviction under their laws in their own country.

    While I do not doubt that international politics may have played a part; unlike we used to be, Russia has never been a functioning Constitutional Republic. And as a sovereign nation, they do not have to be with their internal laws.

    In this country being a black, gay, female, anti-American sports celebrity is a functional get-out-of-jail-free card. Reality gets a vote outside this country. If you do stupid things [Was the real risk of jail worth bringing it in?], bad things can happen to you.

    Subotai Bahadur

      So, in all likelihood, the left’s condescending attitude towards “protected minorities” may have facilitated Griner’s belief in legal invincibility, which may exist in the United States, but is nonexistent in other countries.

      This is what they do to our youth with their “everyone gets a trophy” approach to life and a “womb to tomb” attitude of government largesse that never lets the children leave the womb until the tomb, and become perpetual children, requiring “safe spaces” and trigger warnings when their delicate constitutions may be upset.

    CommoChief in reply to puhiawa. | November 11, 2022 at 6:13 pm

    She confessed. Russia has dim view of drugs, at least officially, and their system is on the harsh side of strict.

    This episode reminds me of the kid in Singapore who was canned. He spit on the sidewalk which seems minor. The issue is that’s a big thing in Chinese culture. Something to do with warding off spirits. They also chew some sort of herb that discolored and stained the sidewalk. It looked bad and made westerners uncomfortable. They needed the investment dollars.

    The govt of Singapore imposed the penalty to stop the spitting and it worked. They became a Financial powerhouse and kept their tourism by ending the spitting. Along comes the punk ass kid from the USA and he does it anyway. No sympathy for people who do dumb things and pretend they didn’t know.

      Dimsdale in reply to CommoChief. | November 11, 2022 at 10:28 pm

      Remember American teen Michael Fay, who was caned for vandalizing property in Singapore? A wrist slap here, and a severe beating there.

      Rules are rules. Would you commit petty theft in Saudi Arabia? I think not.

    ConradCA in reply to puhiawa. | November 12, 2022 at 2:34 pm

    The problem isn’t Russia’s laws it’s that our are to weak.

All manner of untoward things happen to international drug smugglers. This is a foreseeable one.

    I can’t believe you say she is an international drug smuggler. She wasn’t bringing in tons of drugs like the Mexican drug cartels. She had a small personal amount of hash oil that would maybe get her a $100 fine at most in the U.S. And for that she is getting a 9 year sentence in a Stalin built gulag. I know you hate her politics and her sexual orientation, but she is an American citizen, and she deserves better.

      Subotai Bahadur in reply to JR. | November 11, 2022 at 6:16 pm

      Yes, she is a US citizen. However she was caught, arrested, tried, and convicted under Russian law in Russia. Our laws do not apply in any way in Russia, nor do Russian laws apply in any way in the US. What would happen in the US has absolutely no legal bearing on her case.

      Subotai Bahadur

        By breaking the law she set herself up for this. Now, maybe the Russians want to do a prisoner trade but the cost is too high from the US side. All of her protected minority status was the bargaining chip to put pressure on the US to trade. Now she is finding out what she is and isn’t worth. That must be a crushing realization. At least she has some physicality to ward off some problems but pretty lonely.

        Conversely, how many times has the United Stated had to agree to a “no execution” stipulation to get extradition from countries that do not have the death penalty?

      maxmillion in reply to JR. | November 12, 2022 at 11:00 am

      Go out and smuggle even an ounce of any illegal drug and see how that works out for you. Maybe you and her can be cellies. If you don’t want to do that because it’s dangerous, ask yourself why she didn’t likewise pause.

      AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to JR. | November 13, 2022 at 1:57 pm

      From the State Department website, which I was required to review myself, and brief every subordinate who traveled with me – EVERY TIME WE LEFT THE United States.

      “People caught with illegal drugs in a foreign country are subject to the drug laws of that country, not those of the United States. Sentences range from fines to years of hard labor and even the death penalty.”

      I don’t care about her sexual “identity,” orientation, politics, color or other factors.

      The facts are, she had illegal drugs, she admitted to having illegal drugs, and is now facing the law as it applies to the country she was in when she committed the crime.

      While referring to her being an international drug smuggler may be a little harsh, it still does not remove the fact that everything that has occurred to this woman up to this point was just and expected. In fact, she got a sentence better than most.

      Every time I went into a conflict anywhere in the world, I accepted the fact that I may be killed or injured. I went willingly knowing the risk.

      This woman and her supporters are going to accept the fact that she committed a crime in a foreign country that does not provide the same protections and rights that this country provides

      Tough luck for her. I’ll say a prayer for her for her safe return. But she brought this on herself, and yes, I do blame the victim, of her own stupidity.

It deserves no special treatment over any other detained US citizen. There are others detained there as well and no one gives a peep about them.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to healthguyfsu. | November 11, 2022 at 5:22 pm

    Not giving a peep kind of sums up my feelings, carrying drugs is kind of like real estate, what matters is location.

    I don’t wish this on her, I also am not lose any sleep. I am much more concerned Jan 6 victims, and people who worked for Trump. Also the swamp, we have more important things to worry about.

The WNBA must not drug test for some reason…

I just checked and my bank balance is completely out of f*cks to give over this. She made her bed, she can lay in it. Maybe at the end of it all she can appreciate that freedom and privilege she was born into.

Having read all 3 of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago, Koba the Dread and Laughter of 20 Million but nothing on after the fall of the Soviet Union had no idea but suspected something of the Gulag system was still in place, even looked up Google maps on former gulags.
DJT would have done a better job getting her out, Sundowner and the Left has a undecided war against Russia so that’s why it’s no dealing.

Kamala put hundreds of (mostly black men) people in prison in CA for the same offense.

D’s then elected her Senator and then VP.

So – how is Griner “news” but the Kamala’s victims are not?

    This is absolutely false, And I know this because I was a criminal prosecutor for 20 years. Absolutely NO ONE goes to prison for having a small amount of personal use marijuana or hash oil . No one. The worst they get is a possible night in jail and a small fine. The only people who go to prison for personal use marijuana or hash oil are people with incredibly lengthy criminal histories including violent felonies (which Griner does not have) or people with multiple serious felonies who plead down to a possession charge to avoid having to spend decades in prison. In my 20 years as a criminal prosecutor, the only person I ever prosecuted for marijuana who was sentenced to prison was a guy with 100 pounds of marijuana in his truck with $50,000 in drug money. He had previously served a 10 year sentence for trafficking in cocaine distribution. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison, and ended up serving about 11 months. Don’t give me this BS, because I have been there.

Suburban Farm Guy | November 11, 2022 at 5:46 pm

Gee, that War on Drugs that the USA foisted onto every nation in the world? Now we’re going to say we didn’t mean it? That the drug — still classified as Schedule 1 by our DEA, along with heroin and cocaine et al — is no big deal and she should be let off of the hook of OUR big Crusade of Just Say No? Shaking my damn head.

I used to debate over it and I would always point out that ‘our drug laws distort our foreign policy.’ Some things never change. Big time here…

Lastly, Joe Biden was always one of the big Drug War hawks. Helped sentence American citizens to millions of years of prison time in his career. How does he possibly do this about-face?

It’s already been said, but I’m happy to pile on.

She didn’t appreciate, understand, care about, or respect the U.S. of A.

Let her rot.

Can we send another 50 million over there, totes similar attitude?

    I can’t believe how people like Close the Fed are allowed to post here on LI. Griner protested the policies of the U.S. I think she was woefully wrong in her take, but she has the constitutional right to do so. But now you think she should rot in a Russian gulag for protesting the U.S., and for having a small amount of marijuana that would get her a fine at most in the U.S.? What the hell is the matter with you people? I will also note that all of these people are “always Trumpers.”

      Ironclaw in reply to JR. | November 11, 2022 at 6:25 pm

      She would have gladly burned this country down. Let her rot.

      Are you suggesting that LI consult you and ban anyone you assert is guilty of “wrongthink”? That’s not going to happen.

        No. Absolutely not. I just think that people saying that an American citizen should rot in a Gulag because she had a gram of pot, disrespected the U.S., and is a lesbian, that this is a bit it over the top. But yes, let them say whatever they want. We really need to know what everyone here thinks, even if we strongly disagree with it. Let the marketplace of ideas prevail.

          moonmoth in reply to JR. | November 12, 2022 at 9:23 am

          That’s quite an impressive back-tracking from your clear implication that LI does something blameworthy by letting “Close the Fed” post here.

      CommoChief in reply to JR. | November 11, 2022 at 7:41 pm


      She committed a crime in Russia and is subject to the laws of Russia as enforced under their Judicial system. The prisons are run according to Russian law and custom.

      She admitted her action. The Russian courts found her guilty and passed sentence. Our laws and standards are most definitely not applicable in Russia and the reverse holds true.

      I am not an Only Trump advocate and I have zero issue with Sovereign Nations enforcing their laws and putting folks in their prisons according to their customs and laws.

      I hold this position precisely because I do not want foreign Nations attempting to butt into our judicial process.

Don’t break the law if you can’t deal with the consequences. Some countries make clear that drug smuggling is a death penalty offence.

Not sure why LI is spending time on her, or is it the fact that she’s being used as a pawn i.e. if Biden plays nice with Putin then maybe Russia can revisit the sentencing?

You are forgetting something pretty basic. Maybe she was sent to the penal colony that needed a better basketball player for their penal colony basketball league.

wonder if she’s ever seen “midnight express?”

a rather graphic warning

brilliant, just the same

We don’t have the right to tell Russia how to enforce their drug laws. Grinder broke their law and has to suffer the consequences.