The U.S. is demanding access to Brittney Griner, who is being held in a Russian detention facility.
According to The Associated Press, the State Department is insisting on seeing the WNBA star, saying in a statement, “We are closely engaged on this case and in frequent contact with Brittney Griner’s legal team. We insist the Russian government provide consular access to all U.S. citizen detainees in Russia, including those in pre-trial detention, as Brittney Griner is. We have repeatedly asked for consular access to these detainees and have consistently been denied access.”
Ekaterina Kalugina, a member of the public monitoring commission that visits lockups in the area of Russia where Griner is held, said, “Her physical condition is fine, she’s holding up fine, and I’d even say that she is fairly calm and isn’t anxious.”
Earlier this week, a Russian court said Griner’s detention has been extended to May 19.
On March 5, The New York Times reported that the two-time Olympian was being detained by the Russian Federal Customs Service at the Sheremetyevo Airport after a canine unit detected she had vape cartridges with cannabis oil in her luggage.
An investigation by the customs service was allegedly opened into allegations of large-scale-transportation of drugs, which can carry a 10-year prison sentence as punishment.