The phone is not busy
The embassy hung the imprisoned Olympic winner
Basketball player Brittney Griner has been in Russian custody since February after the two-time Olympic winner was arrested for an alleged drug offense. The US administration has been critical of the case and the embassy is now committing a faux pas.
The planned phone call between Olympic basketball winner Brittney Griner in Moscow and her wife apparently failed due to a mistake by the US embassy. As Cherelle Griner informed the American news agency AP, the couple had arranged a phone call last Saturday for the fourth wedding anniversary, but they never arrived. The US State Department regretted “logistical mistakes”.
According to her lawyer, she called the US Embassy in Moscow eleven times last Saturday, from where she was to be transferred with her wife Cherelle to Phoenix. But at the weekend, no one called the embassy to pick up the phone. Cherelle Griner said the call was scheduled for two weeks.
Brittney Griner has been in Russian prison for four months. WNBA star Phoenix Mercury was arrested on February 17 at Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport on charges of possession of drugs. According to the Interfax news agency in early March, referring to Russian customs officers, so-called vape cartridges and hashish oil were allegedly found in the American’s luggage during the inspection.
A basketball star like Faustpfand?
Brittney Griner must remain in Russian custody at least until July 2, after the 31-year-old was reinstated. A basketball player who also works in the Russian league faces five to ten years in prison. When the hearing will take place is as open as the question of whether it is actually just a drug violation or whether the Russian leadership is not pursuing political intentions – and would like to use Griner as a bargain chip for exchanging Russian prisoners in the United States. In any case, the State Department classifies Griner’s arrest as unwarranted, but it is very taciturn and general about the information in her case.
“There’s one person who can bring her back, and that’s our president,” Griner’s wife, Cherelle, told ESPN. “She has power.” He now expects Biden to use it to release Brittney Griner. She had last heard her wife’s voice on the day of her arrest, Cherelle Griner said. That was 15 weeks ago.