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No Sunlight, No Nutrition, Extreme Weight Loss: Hellish Conditions Brittney Griner Could Face In Russian Prison

WNBA star Brittney Griner has been detained in a Russian prison since February. Her family fears the worst is yet to come.

As previously reported by Blavity, in July, Griner was convicted on a charge of attempting to smuggle two vape cartridges containing hashish oil. The cartridges were found in her luggage at a Moscow airport as she traveled to rejoin her Russian pro team. She was sentenced to nine years.

The Phoenix Mercury basketball player has served 200 days and counting in one of Russia’s 650 penal institutions. These traditional penal colonies consist of barrack and dorm-style detention complexes where incarcerated people face hard labor. These complexes are not known for their leniency or suitable living conditions. Griner will have to work to earn her daily necessities. 

Hostage expert Amy Mason of Hostage US spoke with Newsy about the conditions that could be facing Griner and her fellow American detainee Paul Whelan.

“They face the reality of poor nutrition, sometimes no access to fresh air or actual daylight,” Mason said.

“Some of our returnees face as much as 50 to 60 to 70 pounds lost,” she continued. “And then we’re talking about muscle wastage, as well as the impact on their bodies of constant poor nutrition and constant stress.”

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