Brittney Griner Writes Handwritten Letter to Biden From Russian Prison: ‘I’m Afraid I May Be Here Forever’

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A handwritten letter from Brittney Griner was delivered to the White House on Monday morning, according to the Griner family, who provided extracts to reporters. In her letter, the jailed WNBA star asked the president not to forget her and said her already deep appreciation for Independence Day took on new meaning this year.

“I’m afraid that I could be here forever,” wrote Griner, who has been jailed in Russia since mid-February. “On July 4th, our family typically honors the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father, who is a Vietnam War veteran. It hurts to think how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me every year.”

Griner, his The process started last weekwas arrested at a Moscow airport in February after Russia claimed she had cannabis oil in her luggage. A Russian judge ordered Phoenix Mercury center Griner, who played in Russia during the WNBA off-season, to remain in custody pending the trial.

The US has said Griner is wrongly detained.

TOPSHOT RUSSIA US DIPLOMACY BASKET COURT
WNBA basketball superstar Brittney Griner arrives for a hearing at the Khimki Court outside Moscow June 27, 2022.

KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images


In her personal plea, Griner urged Mr. Biden to release all US prisoners. “I realize you are involved in so much,” she wrote, “but don’t forget me and the other American prisoners. Please do everything you can to bring us home.”

Griner noted in the letter that she first voted for Mr. Biden in 2020. “I believe in you. I have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore it,” she wrote.

While some proponents support a prisoner swap, Griner’s imprisonment and trial mark a nadir in US-Russia relations war in Ukraine.

“We believe the Russian Federation is wrongly holding Brittney Griner. President Biden has made it clear that all US citizens held hostage or wrongly imprisoned abroad must be released, including Brittney Griner. The US government continues to work aggressively — and using any means available means bringing them home,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement Monday. “The President’s team is in regular contact with Brittney’s family and we will continue to work to support her family.”

griner’s wife, Cherelleand the family had no further comment on the letter.



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