Brittney Griner, a 32-year-old Houston native, has returned home to the United States after being imprisoned in a Russian penal colony earlier this year. It all began when authorities found cannabis oil in her luggage, sentencing her to nine years in prison. Fortunately, the Biden Administration was able to negotiate her release in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
The Arrest of Brittney Griner
Griner was visiting Russia back in March when she got into trouble with the law. She had been staying with friends and on her way out of the country, authorities discovered cannabis oil in her suitcase. Even though it is legal in some states here in the U.S., it is still illegal under Russian law. As a result, she was arrested and sentenced to nine years of imprisonment at a penal colony located outside Moscow.
Negotiations for Her Release
Once word spread about Griner’s arrest, President Biden took action and immediately reached out to Vladimir Putin to negotiate her release. After weeks of discussion and debate, they were finally able to come up with an agreement that included exchanging Griner for Viktor Bout, a notorious Russian arms dealer who had been serving time in an American prison since 2012. On June 5th, 2021, both parties exchanged prisoners and Griner arrived back home safely in Texas.
Gratitude for Her Release
Since her return home, Griner has expressed nothing but gratitude for those who worked tirelessly to get her released from prison and sent back home safely. In an emotional message posted on Twitter, she thanked President Biden along with other government representatives involved in the negotiations—including Secretary Blinken and Senator Cornyn—and acknowledged how much their efforts meant to her family during such a difficult time. She also thanked everyone who sent their prayers and support throughout this trying process.
It’s truly incredible what can be accomplished through international negotiation when two countries are willing to work together toward a common goal. Thanks to the Biden Administration’s tireless efforts—as well as those of countless others involved—Brittney Griner is now safe at home with her family where she belongs after months spent away from them due to false charges abroad. We wish Britney all the best as she continues rebuilding her life after this traumatic experience!
Some FAQs are below:
How long was Brittney Griner imprisoned in Russia?
After a 10-month detainment in Russia and getting sentenced to nine years in prison on drug charges, She was released on 8th Dec2022
Why is Griner going to San Antonio?
Brittney Griner was Taken to an Army Hospital in San Antonio. This Army hospital treats both civilians and military personnel who have survived torture or any type of trauma
Why was Britney Griner released?
Griner was released in a swap. She was exchanged for Bout. The deal did not include Whelan.
Why did Brittney Griner annul her marriage?
She said on June 5, their marriage of less than a month was void based on fraud and duress. Ms. Johnson, the court papers said, pressured Ms. Griner into marrying her with “threatening statements.”
WNBA star Ms. Griner’s request to have her marriage to Glory Johnson annulled has been rejected by an Arizona judge, which means the two remain married for the time being.