Brittney Griner Faces ‘Serious’ Health Threats Says American Formerly Held Captive in Russia
Brittney Griner fast approaches 200 days in Russian captivity. Arrested on arguably legitimate grounds, the basketball star quickly turned into a political prisoner. As the United States and Russia continue a Ukraine-based feud, Griner’s recent nine-year prison sentence represents more than a vape pen with cannabis oil.
But as talks for a prisoner swap heighten, so does concern for the well-being of Griner. Trevor Reed – a former captive of the communism-riddled country – opened up about the horrors the 31-year-old faces with a prolonged stay.
The U.S. Marine faced charges for assaulting a Russian police officer. A court sentenced Reed to nine years in a labor camp before the United States negotiated his release nearly three years later. Reed spoke with CNN in an interview published Friday morning to discuss the challenges facing Griner moving forward.
While it’s not a foregone conclusion Griner ends up in a work camp, the outcome remains highly possible. Reed said, “If she chooses not to go to appeals, they may transfer her to a forced labor camp. Considering the fact that the Russian government is considering exchanging her, they may also decide to leave her in Moscow to make it easier for her to be returned to the United States.”
Reed talks about the poor conditions and hazards of the labor camps, citing his own harrowing experiences. The U.S Marine veteran said Griner faces severe malnutrition in a place without medical oversight. The camps also run rampant with Tuberculosis and other crippling diseases.
In speaking with USA Today, Reed called camps “medieval.” He also reflected upon his multiple bouts with COVID-19 and inability to properly recover while imprisoned.
While the topic of Griner’s unpatriotic behavior carries the torch of situational division, prominent figures in the entertainment industry and sports world continue to plead with the government to quickly secure the WNBA star’s safe passage home.
Griner’s former Team USA head coach Dawn Staley said, “I truly believe we need to do whatever is necessary to bring our American citizens home.” Dan Abrams – former host of Live PD, current host of On Patrol: Live – shared his thoughts via Twitter.