Brittney Griner writes letter to Biden from Russian prison: ‘I’m afraid I might be here forever’
A handwritten letter fromwas 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, hiswas 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.
The White House on Tuesday said bringing Griner home was a “priority” and said it was in “close coordination” with a presidential special envoy for hostage affairs.
“You have seen the work his administration has done to bring Trevor Reed home. This is the same work, same focus that we put in to bringing Trevor Reed home. We will do the same with Brittney Griner and others,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
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.
“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,and the family had no further comment on the letter.