Russian authorities officers haven’t proven any willingness to have interaction with the US on discussions about prisoner swaps involving American basketball star Brittney Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan, each of whom are being held within the nation.
US nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan stated on Thursday that the US put collectively ‘a sequence of proposals’ for the Kremlin, which has not engaged on the topic.
The event is the most recent discouraging information going through Griner, who’s on her approach to a penal colony to serve a nine-year drug sentence, and Whelan, who was arrested within the nation in 2018 on espionage fees. The 52-year-old is being held in a high-security jail, IK-17, roughly eight hours southeast of Moscow.
President Joe Biden stated Wednesday that he hopes Russian President Vladimir Putin will present extra willingness to barter on Griner and Whelan’s freedom now that the US midterm elections are over.
‘My hope is that now that the election is over, that Mr. Putin will be capable to talk about with us and be prepared to speak extra critically a few prisoner alternate,’ Biden advised reporters at a information convention.
Russian authorities officers haven’t proven any willingness to have interaction with the US on discussions about prisoner swaps involving American basketball star Brittney Griner (left) and former Marine Paul Whelan (proper), each of whom are being held within the nation
President Joe Biden stated Wednesday that he hopes Russian President Vladimir Putin will present extra willingness to barter on Griner and Whelan’s freedom now that the US midterm elections are over
Griner’s authorized efforts to flee a nine-year drug sentence in a Russian penal colony have been exhausted, and now the American basketball star is going through ‘harsh’ and even ‘life-threatening’ situations, based on a 2021 State Division report on human rights points throughout the nation.
Effectively-known Russian dissident Nadezhda Tolokonnikova described one camp in 2013 as having ‘slavery-like situations,’ the place she labored in a stitching store for ’16 to 17 hours a day’ whereas getting ‘4 hours of sleep an evening.’ And even when she is permitted to relaxation, the 6-foot-9 Griner will probably be doing so on a tiny mattress in a cramped cell.
Others, akin to former presidential candidate Alexei Navalny, have confronted torture by sleep deprivation and isolation. Moreover, the State Division has described prisoner bodily and sexual abuse by guards as ‘systemic.’
A Russian court docket rejected an enchantment of Griner’s nine-year sentence final month. The eight-time all-star heart with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and a two-time Olympic gold medalist was convicted August 4 after police stated they discovered vape canisters containing hashish oil in her baggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.
Her arrest got here at a time of heightened tensions between Moscow and Washington, simply days earlier than Russia despatched troops into Ukraine, and the politically charged case might result in a high-stakes prisoner alternate between Washington and Moscow.
Griner’s authorized staff stated she left a detention heart on November 4 for a penal colony — a typical kind of Russian jail the place detainees work for minimal pay. Her attorneys stated Wednesday that they didn’t know precisely the place she was or the place she would find yourself — however that they anticipated to be notified when she reached her last vacation spot. Such transfers can take days, and could be as torturous as confinement in Russian prisons.
Former U.S. marine officer Paul Whelan, who’s charged with espionage towards Russia, attends the court docket listening to through a video hyperlink in Moscow, Russia on November 19, 2019
A State Division spokesperson declined to present DailyMail.com specifics on Griner’s whereabouts and the camp the place she’ll be imprisoned.
‘As we work to safe Brittney Griner’s launch, we count on Russian authorities to offer our Embassy officers with common entry to all US residents detained in Russia, together with Brittney, as is their obligation,’ learn a division assertion Tuesday. ‘Making certain the well being and welfare of US citizen detainees in Russia is a precedence, and we are going to proceed to press for honest and clear therapy for all of them.’
Whelan is serving a 16-year sentence on espionage-related fees that he and his household say are false. The U.S. authorities regards each as wrongfully detained, putting their instances with the workplace of its high hostage negotiator.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken took the bizarre step of saying two months in the past that the administration had made a considerable proposal to Russia. Although he didn’t elaborate on the proposal, an individual acquainted with the matter has stated the U.S. has provided to launch convicted Russian arms seller Viktor Bout.
The administration carried out a prisoner swap final April, with Moscow releasing Marine veteran Trevor Reed in alternate for the U.S. releasing a Russian pilot, Konstantin Yaroshenko, convicted in a drug trafficking conspiracy.