Brittney Griner is escorted from the courtroom room following her Russian trial.Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool/Reuters

  • WNBA famous person Brittney Griner was convicted of drug smuggling and sentenced to 9 years in Russian jail after customs brokers discovered vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her baggage in February.

  • Griner’s authorized group has appealed the decision, but when her conviction shouldn’t be overturned and he or she’s not included in a prisoner swap between the US and Russia, the eight-time WNBA All-Star will serve her sentence at a penal colony.

  • Direct descendants of the Soviet Union’s notorious Gulag system, Russian penal colonies are jail labor camps often called illness incubators, human rights abuses run rampant.

  • Here is what we find out about Russian penal colonies and what Griner’s expertise may seem like:

Brittney Griner is without doubt one of the most completed basketball gamers on the planet.

Brittney Griner.

Griner.REUTERS/Brian Snyder

A 6-foot-9 famous person for the Phoenix Mercury, Griner is an eight-time WNBA All-Star, two-time scoring champion, two-time defensive participant of the 12 months, and WNBA champion.

Brittney Griner.

Brittney Griner.AP Picture/Rick Scuteri

She’s additionally received two Olympic gold medals with Group USA.

Brittney Griner.

Brittney Griner.AP Picture/Eric Homosexual

When she’s not competing within the WNBA or for USA Basketball, Griner takes her abilities abroad to complement her earnings.

Brittney Griner and UMMC Ekaterinburg.

Griner and her UMMC Ekaterinburg teammates have a good time profitable the EuroLeague.REUTERS/Murad Sezer

How low WNBA salaries led to an American basketball superstar’s detainment in Russia

Annually since 2014 — simply her second out of school — Griner has headed to Russia to compete for European powerhouse UMMC Ekaterinburg.

Griner (right) competes for Russian club UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA offseason.

Griner (proper) competes for Russian membership UMMC Ekaterinburg in the course of the WNBA offseason.BSR Company/Getty Pictures

Brittney Griner’s Russian team — owned by a Putin-aligned oligarch — is a hot spot for WNBA superstars

The 2021-22 WNBA low season was no exception; Griner was on her strategy to the Ural metropolis in February when she was stopped at a Moscow airport.

Brittney Griner.

REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool

Russian customs brokers discovered vape cartridges containing hashish oil within the WNBA star’s baggage and subsequently detained her.

Brittney Griner.

Dmitry Serebryakov/AP Picture

Almost six months later, Griner was convicted of drug smuggling “with legal intent” and sentenced to 9 years in Russian jail.

Brittney Griner

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted from a courtroom room after her final phrases, in Khimki simply exterior Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022.AP Picture/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Brittney Griner was sentenced to 9 years in Russian prison after guilty verdict on drug charges

Her authorized group has since appealed the choice, however the transfer is unlikely to grant her freedom and even scale back her sentence.

Brittney Griner.

Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool/Reuters

Brittney Griner appealed her 9-year Russian prison sentence, but the move is unlikely to free the WNBA star

Except she’s launched in a prisoner alternate between america and Russia, Griner will virtually actually spend a while at a Russian penal colony.

Brittney Griner.

Kirill Kudryavtsev/Pool by way of REUTERS

Brittney Griner’s freedom could hinge on an unorthodox prisoner exchange involving an ex-US Marine and a notorious Russian arms dealer

Russian penal colonies are jail labor camps which might be primarily the remnants of the Soviet Union’s notorious Gulag system.

Russian penal colony.

REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

Griner can be despatched to one of many 35 or so all-women penal colonies within the nation.

Brittney Griner

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner leaves a courtroom after a listening to, in Khimki simply exterior Moscow, Russia, Friday, Might 13, 2022.AP

Supply: People

Every facility varies in its fame and remedy of inmates, based mostly on its geographic location and its management construction.

Russian women's prison.

AP Picture/Yuri Tutov

Some, like jail colony No. 14 in Mordovia, are notoriously brutal.

Russia's penal colony in Moldovia.

MAXIM MARMUR/AFP by way of Getty Pictures

Inmates there have been stated to stay amongst rats, lose fingers whereas working 17-hour days at stitching machines, and be compelled to look at guards burn kittens alive.

Russian prisoners work on sewing machines.

Reuters

Supply: Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty

And whereas different services aren’t identified to be fairly as harsh, there are a number of disturbing commonalities throughout the penal system.

Russian penal colony.

REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

Dilapidated infrastructure has been identified to restrict entry to operating water and warmth, particularly in additional distant places.

Russian penal colony.

AP Picture/Laura Mills

Supply: Centre for Eastern Studies

Prisoner hygiene is usually uncared for in consequence.

Russian prisoner washes her hands with water from a pot.

REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

The colonies are severely overcrowded, with most prisoners dwelling in shut quarters alongside roughly 50 different individuals.

Russian penal colony barracks.

AP Picture/Yuri Tutov

Supply: People

Russian legislation dictates that every inmate have 20 sq. toes of private area, however that normal — which is lower than the necessities of the European Conference on Human Rights — is usually not met in Russian services.

Russian prison barracks.

LIFE.RU/Handout by way of REUTERS TV

Supply: Centre for Eastern Studies

Between prisoners’ shut proximity to 1 one other and lack of fundamental hygiene, penal colonies in Russia are often called incubators for epidemics.

Russian penal colony.

AP Picture/Yuri Tutov

AIDS, tuberculosis, COVID-19, and different illnesses run rampant.

An inmate is evaluated at a Russian prison hospital.

Russian Federal Penitentiary Service by way of AP

Supply: Centre for Eastern Studies, Puzzle

And girls within the system are sometimes denied medical care, by no means thoughts correct medical care.

Patients in a Russian hospital.

AP Picture/Vitaliy Timkiv

Supply: Riddle

Regardless of criticism that the system resembled Joseph Stalin’s Gulags, the Russian authorities reintroduced compelled labor in 2016.

Forced labor at a Russian penal colony.

REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

Supply: VOA News

Most girls cook dinner, clear, or sew to meet this requirement.

A prison cook prepares food.

Vannessa Jimenez/Anadolu Company by way of Getty Pictures

And previous inmates in all-female Russian penal colonies have stated that “voluntary” additional time work is definitely obligatory, with guards threatening retribution if they do not signal on to work further.

Forced labor at a Russian prison camp.

REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

Supply: Riddle

Because of this, some girls are compelled to work 16- or 17-hour days with simply 4 hours of sleep every evening.

Russian inmates work planting cabbage.

REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

Supply: Riddle

Torture shouldn’t be unparalleled at these services.

Russian penal colony guard.

REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Supply: Centre for Eastern Studies

And in the case of abuse, “even official statistics point out that it’s practiced on a mass scale,” based on commentary piece from the Centre for Jap Research.

Russian penal colony.

REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

However it’s doable Griner may have a much less harrowing expertise — that’s, if she winds up going to a penal colony in any respect.

Brittney Griner.

Dmitry Serebryakov/AP Picture

If Griner is “despatched to a colony with a lenient governor,” Ivan Melnikov, the vp of the Russian Division of the Worldwide Human Rights Protection Committee, instructed Individuals, she could also be allowed “to educate basketball within the daytime quite than being a seamstress.”

Brittney Griner (left) shoots over fellow WNBA All-Star A'ja Wilson.

Brittney Griner (left) shoots over fellow WNBA All-Star A’ja Wilson.AP Picture/Rick Scuteri

Supply: People

Individuals additionally reported that such a transfer shouldn’t be unprecedented, as “Russian soccer gamers Alexander Kokorin and Pavel Mamayev coached inmates whereas they served time in one of many colonies.”

Russian soccer players Alexander Kokorin and Pavel Mamayev.

Mike Kireev/NurPhoto by way of Getty Pictures

Supply: People

Melnikov additionally instructed Folks that inmates usually obtain “half an hour to 2 hours a day” at no cost time, with which they will “chat with one another, learn a e-book from the library, write letters house, play sports activities, play board video games, and name family and friends.”

Brittney (left) and Cherelle Griner.

Brittney (left) and Cherelle Griner.Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Pictures

Supply: People

However even accounting for Griner’s likelihood at relative normalcy contained in the penal colony, her expertise there’ll undoubtedly be difficult.

Brittney Griner.

REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool

Within the meantime, she and people supporting her can solely hope {that a} prisoner swap between america and Russia involves fruition.

Brittney Griner.

Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool/Reuters

Biden administration reportedly offered convicted arms trafficker in exchange for the release of Brittney Griner and another American detained in Russia

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