Brittney Griner’s lawyers have announced the WNBA star has been relocated to Mordovia, Russia. The penal colony where Griner is being held is 210 miles east of Moscow. That is where she is currently set to serve her nine-year sentence.
“Brittney is doing as well as could be expected and trying to stay strong as she adapts to a new environment,” her lawyers said in a statement to ESPN. Her agent, Lindsay Colas, stated she is “trying to stay strong.”
“Despite the fact she is alone and now nearing her ninth month in detention separated from her loved ones, she is trying to stay strong,” Colas said in a statement. “At this time, we will not be sharing any further details, but want to express our deepest thanks to the Biden Administration, the Richardson Center, and to everyone who has reached out to offer words of encouragement to her.”
According to ESPN, Griner’s transfer began Friday, Nov. 4, ahead of schedule, as transfers typically take weeks or months after a conviction. Griner’s legal team was not aware of the move until Tuesday (Nov. 8).
In addition, Griner’s location may not be known for some time. Her legal team stated, “Notification is given via official mail and normally takes up to two weeks to be received.” Official mail is considered a postal service. Russian penal colonies are known for harsher conditions than Griner experienced during her time in a Moscow jail.
“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 a statement early Wednesday morning. “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.”