Brittney Griner is being relocated to a Russian correctional settlement where she will start serving a nine-year sentence for bringing cannabis oil into the nation.
The 32-year-old American women's basketball player was convicted last month after being detained on "drug smuggling accusations" in February at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport. Griner had been "wrongfully imprisoned," according to President Biden, who had been trying to negotiate a deal to have her returned to American soil. However, the White House has persisted in its efforts.
According to Griner's attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, Griner "is now on her way to a prison colony." "Neither her precise present location nor her intended eventual destination are known to us."
"According to customary Russian protocol, the American Embassy and the attorneys should be contacted as soon as she arrives at her destination. Official mail is used for notification, and it can take up to two weeks for recipients to receive it."
Griner's attorneys stated in a statement to PEOPLE after her initial sentencing in August that the conviction was "totally unreasonable" and that they would "definitely pursue an appeal."
However, Griner's attorneys told PEOPLE that she is "a very strong person" and "has a champion's character" after the appeal was denied in October.
She naturally has highs and lows because she has been away from her loved ones for more than eight months, they claimed.
The wife of the WNBA centre, Cherelle Griner, told CBS' Gayle King that she has been watching the events unfold "like a movie."
In an interview with King last month, Cherelle said, "I'm like, in no world did I ever think, you know, our president and a foreign nation's president would be sitting together having to discuss the freedom of my wife." As a result, even though different people have given me varied descriptions of BG, it feels to me like she is being held hostage.
Cherelle continued, "It terrifies me because sometimes when you watch movies, those things don't end good." They occasionally never receive their person back.