WNBA star Brittney Griner, whose arrest and detainment has caused an international stalemate, has penned an open letter to President Biden pleading for her freedom.
"I'm terrified I might be here forever," Griner wrote by hand from a Russian prison, according to CBS News, "On the 4th of July, our family normally honors the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father who is a Vietnam War Veteran. It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year."
Griner, 31, a center for the Phoenix Mercury who was playing for UMMC Yekaterinburg, which she had been with during several off-seasons, has been held in a Russian jail since Feb. 17 on charges of carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil. If convicted, she can face up to 10 years in prison.
Her trial began last Friday (July 1), but she did not enter a plea.
Griner did nott address the charges, with her lawyers sharing she “has the right to do so later.”
The trial is scheduled to resume on July 7.
She will remain in custody until December, which could be subject to change, depending on the outcome of her trial.
Griner’s wife, Cherelle appeared last week on Rev. Al Sharpton’s daily talk radio program “Keepin’ It Real’ and expressed her worry about what could come next.
“She's struggling. She's there, terrified. She's there, alone,” Cherelle Griner said. “Everything about this is just her biggest nightmare, on top of the fact that BG is in a situation where this isn't even a trial ... Nothing about this is justice."
Meanwhile, the Biden Administration has vowed to remain focused on ensuring Griner’s release.
“It has the fullest attention of the president and every senior member of his national security and diplomatic team, and we are actively working to find a resolution to this case and will continue to do so without rest until we get Brittney safely home,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on June 28 aboard Air Force One, according to The Hill.