Report: Brittney Griner Has Been Transported To A Female Penal Colony Located In Yavas, Russia

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The penal colony which Brittney Griner has been transported to reportedly is located within Russia’s Mordovia region, according to reports from Reuters. Specifically, Griner has been taken to the nation’s Female Penal Colony IK-2, which is located in Yavas, Russia. The area is approximately 300 miles southeast of Moscow. Griner’s team has remained in constant contact with the U.S. State Department regarding the player’s status.

Penal colonies in Russia have historically attracted attention and concern from human rights activists internationally. The conditions are often described as “tough” and “grim.” At the colonies, inmates are often housed in barracks, not cells. They are usually put to work, according to reports, and some compare the colonies to labor camps.

The journey to get to the colony can sometimes be long and dangerous, with some reports saying it could take up to one month to get there and transportation is typically in a crowded train.

CNN reports that the colonies were built “during the Soviet Union and have been compared by think tanks and human rights organizations to Soviet-era gulags – tough prison camps that expanded across the region during Joseph Stalin’s rule in the mid-20th century.”

The WNBA star is serving a nine-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to narcotics possession and smuggling charges during her drug trial. Griner acknowledged that the oils were in her luggage, but testified that she had no crimi intent. She was initially detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport after cannabis oil was found in her luggage. Griner attempted to appeal her conviction, but it was denied by a Moscow Regional Court.

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden is attempting to bring her home, along with U.S. Marine Paul Whelan by actively engaging in prisoner exchange talks with Russia. The U.S. has made an offer to give Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for Griner and Whelan. Whelan was detained in Russia for alleged espionage.

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