US Demands Access to Detained WNBA Star
WNBA star Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia on drug smuggling allegations, and the U.S. is demanding consular access.
“We are closely engaged on this case and in frequent contact with Brittney Griner’s legal team. We insist the Russian government provide consular access to all U.S. citizen detainees in Russia, including those in pre-trial detention, as Brittney Griner is,” the State Department said in a statement.
“We have repeatedly asked for consular access to these detainees and have consistently been denied access.”
Griner, who plays basketball professionally in Russia during the WNBA offseason, was detained at an airport in Moscow last month after authorities allegedly found vape cartridges that contained cannabis oil in her luggage.
Ekaterina Kalugina, a member of a Russian state-backed prison watchdog group, said Griner is “fine.”
“Her physical condition is fine, she’s holding up fine, and I’d even say that she is fairly calm and isn’t anxious,” Kalugina said.
According to Kalugina, the Phoenix Mercury star’s lawyers have been visiting her regularly and bringing her care packages, but she hasn’t met with a U.S. consul yet.