Source: The Washington Post / Getty
Earlier this month, detained basketball star Brittney Griner was transferred from her holding cell in Moscow to one of Russia’s notorious penal colonies. Lawyers for the WNBA players are now worried that she may be subjected to inhumane living conditions as she serves her nine-year-long prison sentence for drug smuggling and possession.
TMZ reported, that it’s unclear if the Texas native will even receive a bed adequate to fit her 6 foot 8 frame during her stay at the rough IK-2 colony prison, which is reportedly based in Mordovia, a region located nine hours away from Moscow.
Reps for Griner said that she is trying to remain strong throughout the tough ordeal and that she is “doing as well as could be expected, despite the fact she is alone and now nearing her ninth month in detention separated from her loved ones.”
Brittney Griner could face horrid conditions at IK-2
Griner’s stay in Mordovia won’t be easy, according to The Nation’s Dave Zirin. The famous sports writer told TMZ that “beatings and torture” were commonplace at the notorious prison. He also said that Griner could be subjected to racism, homophobia and 16-hour work hours during her detainment.
Inmates housed in Russia’s penal colonies are often required to engage in menial labor for a small amount of pay, The Associated Press noted. Griner is being held at an all-female facility for first-time offenders. Over 800 inmates are housed at the isolated colony.
Zoya Svetova, a Russian journalist and human rights defender said that IK-2 contains women who are convicted of murder and assault, but female inmates convicted of drug crimes appear to be rising at the facility. According to Svetova, there have been multiple reports of women being brutalized by the “cruel” wardens who patrol the halls at IK-2. Medical facilities at the prison are also inadequate.
As MADAMENOIRE previously reported, White House officials have been scrambling fast to bring Griner home.
“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 earlier this month.
“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.”
In June, U.S. officials said they were in “serious” talks with Russia to trade Griner, but they have yet to receive a legitimate counteroffer.
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