About 1,200 prominent black women signed a letter to President Biden and Vice President Harris and urged the government to secure the release of Brittney Griner from Russian prisons. ..

The letter, delivered to the White House on Tuesday afternoon, was signed by a collection of black female leaders from the fields of sports, entertainment, labor, business, politics and faith. “President Biden, it is imperative to address this ongoing human rights crisis and make arrangements to bring Britney back home quickly and safely,” Greener claimed during imprisonment as “bearing an inhumane situation.” “.

The letter arrived the day after the Phoenix Mercury Center’s letter to Biden was handwritten from her cell on Independence Day. In a Grinner letter excerpted from her agent, she wrote, “I’m afraid I’ll be here forever,” and told Biden, “What I can do at this point to get me home.” Anything. “

Adrian Watson, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, was asked to comment on Grinner’s letter to Biden, telling the Washington Post:[Biden’s] The team is in regular contact with Britney’s family and we will continue to strive to support her family. … The US government continues to actively work by all means to bring her home. “

“Frightened” Brittney Griner writes to Biden to push her freedom

Greener, 31, was arrested in February at Sheremetyevo International Airport on the outskirts of Moscow for finding an arc cartridge containing hashish oil in her luggage. At that time, she returned to Japan and joined the WNBA off-season Russian team, UMMC Yekaterinburg. In early May, the State Department declared the Greener case “tort detention.” This is the official classification promoted to the office of the Special Envoy for the US Hostage Affairs.

Her trial is expected to begin on Friday and continue on Thursday. Greener has not yet entered her plea. She is expected to be guilty and an estimated 99% of Russian criminal trials may end with her conviction and face up to 10 years in prison.

Following Friday’s hearing, US Chargé d’Affaires Elizabeth Ludo, who was present, said in a statement that US officials were working “at the highest level” to bring Greener home. After being able to talk to Greener in her court, Ludo said, “She is doing as expected in these difficult situations.”

Among the women who signed the letter delivered on Tuesday was Bernice King, CEO of King Center and daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. Actress Anika Noni Rose; Singer Ledisi; TV hosts Shaun Robinson and Sunny Hostin. Former leader of the Democratic National Committee, Donna Brazil. Former CEO of Black Entertainment Television Debra L. Lee. Activist and former NAACP president Hazel Dukes. Dawn Staley, a women’s basketball coach at the University of South Carolina and a three-time Olympic gold medalist. And many WNBA players, coaches and executives.

“The letter is support — support from a group of black women trying to save another black woman. It’s just as easy,” Staley said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “… I think of Britney all day, every day. I try to put myself in her position, and I want someone to fight for me — people who don’t shut up. “

With little hope of acquittal, Greener’s supporters have sought to increase public pressure over the past few weeks to ensure the Biden administration’s release through diplomatic channels.

But in a letter on Tuesday, Greener’s supporters demanded more urgency.

“Roughly, Terry Jackson, executive director of the WNBA Players Union and one of the organizers of the letter, mentioned the fact that Tuesday represented Greener’s 138 days in prison, with Byden. Harris added, “elected by voters who are very similar to my members.” This letter will be powerful. This letter will draw their attention. “

Opinion: Brittney Griner is a hostage, obvious and simple

A letter organized by the collective network #WinWithBlackWomen also urged Biden and / or Harris to meet with Grinner’s wife Cherel, and last month’s arranged phone call between Grinner failed due to lack of personnel at the U.S. Embassy. Moscow patched the phone — the State Department’s failure was called a “logistic error.”

“I’m not quiet anymore,” Cherelle Griner said in “CBS Mornings” on Tuesday. “I will find a balance between harm and help encouraging the government to do everything possible. [Administration officials] It’s not working. They aren’t doing anything. My wife is having a hard time, and we have to help her. “

Speculation in Russian state media suggests a prisoner exchange involving Grinner and Viktor Bout. Russian arms dealers have been sentenced to 25 years in a plot to kill US citizens and are helping terrorist organizations. However, US officials have not commented on the possibility of such swaps. In April, US officials secured the release of former Marine Trevor Reed from Russia through prisoner exchange.

“We need to do whatever it takes to bring Britney back to America,” Starley said. “Whatever it is.”

Also on Tuesday, Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and president of the National Action Network, called on Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to arrange a visit to Grinner, Russia, from him and other religious leaders. ..

“After talking to her wife last week, I’m deeply worried about Brittney Griner’s physical, mental and spiritual well-being,” Sharpton said in a statement. “Today I am urging [the administration] Immediately take me and my fellow religious leaders to Russia so that I can pray for Britney in prison. She deserves to see the United States doing something for her, so she can find her strength as this show trial progresses. … Four months is too long for this to continue, so I hope the president will act on her plea and return home. “

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