American women’s basketball star Brittney Griner is set to be transferred to a Russian penal colony where she is to serve the remainder of a nine-year sentence for drug trafficking which was confirmed at the end of October.
Griner “is now on his way to a penal colony,” his attorneys said in a statement to CNN on Wednesday.
“We have no information about its exact current location or final destination,” attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov said. “In accordance with standard Russian procedure, lawyers, as well as the US Embassy, must be notified of his arrival at his destination. Notification is given by official mail and normally takes up to two weeks to be received.
Russian penal colonies are notorious for their lack of hygiene and lack of access to medical care, with inmates often subjected to manual labor.
Last month, Griner lost his appeal against a nine-year drug charge. She was arrested in February and convicted in August of deliberately trafficking drugs to Russia.
She has repeatedly apologized for bringing a small amount of cannabis into the country, where she was playing off-season basketball.
In a statement, Griner representatives confirmed that they do not know of its location or current status.
“Our main concern remains the health and well-being of BG,” his agent Lindsay Colas said. “As we go through this very difficult phase of not knowing exactly where BG is or how she is doing, we ask for the support of the public to continue writing letters and expressing their love and care for her.”
Griner’s detention has raised concerns that she will be used as a political pawn in Russia’s war on Ukraine.
The US government condemned the rejection of his appeal last week, with a State Department spokesperson calling it “another rejection of justice, which only compounds the initial injustice of his detention.”