US basketball star Brittney Griner sent to Russian prison camp
mprisoned US basketball star Brittney Griner, who was sentenced by a Russian court to 9 years in prison, has been transferred to a penal camp, according to her lawyers.
Griner, 32, was taken on Friday from the jail near Moscow where she had been imprisoned since her arrest, according to her lawyers. There is no information about Griner's exact whereabouts.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed that Griner was transferred to a "remote penal colony."
"It is another injustice layered on her ongoing unjust and wrongful detention," Blinken said in a statement.
Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport in February for allegedly possessing a small amount of marijuana. She was given a harsh nine-year prison sentence by a Russian court in August. An appeal was rejected by a Moscow regional court in October.
US President Joe Biden on Wednesday said that he was hopeful that Russia would negotiate "more seriously" the release of Grinder now that the US midterm elections were over.
"My hope is that, now that the election is over, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin will be able to discuss with us and be willing to talk more seriously about a prisoners' exchange," Biden told reporters, adding that "My intention is to get her home."
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The White House confirmed earlier on Wednesday that the US had made a "significant" offer to Russia for the release of Griner and another American, former soldier Paul Whelan, who is also being held in Russia.
"Despite a lack of good faith negotiation by the Russians, the U.S. Government has continued to follow up on that offer and propose alternative potential ways forward with the Russians through all available channels," the White House said in a statement.