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US athlete Griner, detained in Russia, asks Biden for help

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Status: 05.07.2022 10:23 a.m.

Brittney Griner faces up to 10 years in prison. The American basketball player has been detained in Russia for four and a half months. Now she has personally asked President Biden for help.

American basketball player Brittney Griner, who has been imprisoned in Russia, has sent a letter to her president asking for help. Griner appeals to Joe Biden in the handwritten document that she fears may never be able to return home. The 31-year-old man was arrested four and a half months ago.

The Texas native asked Biden not to forget her and the other detained Americans. “As I sit here in a Russian prison – alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey or other accomplishments – I am afraid to be here. forever,” the letter read. The White House has confirmed receipt.

A child holds up a sign that reads ‘Free Brittney Griner’ during a basketball game in Phoenix, USA. The photo was taken on May 6, the day the Phoenix Mercurys took on the Las Vegas Aces.

Image: picture alliance/ASSOCIATED PR

The US government says it wants to help

Excerpts from the letter were distributed by Griner’s environment – alongside Independence Day, celebrated on July 4 in the United States. Normally, she celebrates the holidays with her family, she reportedly said. There would be honored those who fought for freedom. “It hurts to think about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year,” the athlete wrote to Biden, whom she said she voted for in the election. 2020 US presidential election.

National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said the US government was doing everything it could to bring Griner home. US-Russian relations are at their lowest since the Russian attack on Ukraine. At the start of the trial, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed claims that the lawsuit against Griner was politically motivated.

Arrest probably because of cannabis oil

Griner has been detained in Russia since February 17 for drug possession. According to the AP news agency, it was cannabis oil, which she allegedly had with her when she returned to a match for her Russian team. The trial against Griner began Friday and will continue Thursday. The pretrial detention was last extended until December 20. You risk up to ten years in prison.

The two-time Olympic champion plays for the American basketball team Phoenix Mercury, but has also been active in the Russian league.

Source www.tagesschau.de

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