US House passes bipartisan resolution calling for Brittney Griner’s release

Washington, DC

The Home on Friday handed a bipartisan resolution calling on the Russian governing administration to quickly launch WNBA star Brittney Griner.

“Not a day goes by that we aren’t thinking of Brittney and performing to get her dwelling,” Democratic Rep. Greg Stanton of Arizona, who sponsored the resolution, mentioned in a assertion. “We will go on to push for her launch and make certain that she is not forgotten.”

Stanton earlier served as mayor of Phoenix, where by Griner plays for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.

Stanton introduced the resolution in Could along with Democratic Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee and Colin Allred of Texas, Griner’s property condition.

“I’m grateful for this overwhelming clearly show of aid from Congress. We require to be carrying out all we can to retain Brittney’s circumstance on the forefront and last but not least put an conclude to this nightmare,” Cherelle Griner, Brittney’s wife, claimed in a assertion.

Griner, 31, has been held in Russia considering the fact that February on accusations of drug smuggling and has been officially categorised as “wrongfully detained,” a US Condition Office official told CNN in May well. As a end result, her situation is becoming taken care of by the Place of work of the US Unique Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs.

She will keep on being in Russian custody by way of at the very least July 2, following a Russian courtroom extended her detention, Russian condition information company Tass described final 7 days.

Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport in February, when Russian authorities claimed she had cannabis oil in her luggage and accused her of smuggling considerable amounts of a narcotic substance, an offense punishable by up to 10 many years in jail. The two-time Olympic gold medalist and star of the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury plays in Russia in the course of the league’s offseason.

Paul Whelan, a US citizen and former Marine, is also detained in Russia. Whelan was arrested in Moscow on espionage charges in 2018 and subsequently sentenced to 16 many years in jail in a demo US officers denounced as unfair.

Trevor Reed, a US citizen and previous Marine who had been detained in Russia since 2019, was freed from Russia in late April as element of a prisoner exchange with the US. His release introduced renewed consideration to the instances of Whelan and Griner.

“This resolution sends a crystal clear information: securing Brittney’s launch need to be the maximum priority of the U.S. Govt, and we know the American folks help just about every energy designed to convey her dwelling,” claimed Terri Carmichael Jackson, government director of the Women’s Nationwide Basketball Players Affiliation.