It’s unclear whether Griner‘s abduction is a political or economic one.
The Russian government has not confirmed that Griner has been taken hostage.
Why is Brittney Griner a Hostage in Russia?
The Russian Federal Customs Service has said that Griner was detained while smuggling drugs. It has also hinted that she could face a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Regardless of the reason, Griner’s case has garnered considerable attention. Meanwhile, another American, Jason Rezaian, was detained for five44 days in Iran. He was a writer for The Washington Post’s Global Opinions section.
Amid international concern over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Brittney Griner’s arrest came as a surprise to many. She was arrested two days before the Russian military invaded the Ukraine, and news of her arrest reached the U.S. on March 5.
Since then, Western nations have imposed sanctions on the Russian government. As the United States continues to exert pressure on the Russian government for the annexation of Crimea, Griner’s arrest has drawn widespread attention.
Despite the international spotlight on the case, U.S. officials have accessed her cell to check on her well-being and keep them informed of any developments.
Her two cellmates speak some English and are allowed to take a biweekly shower, but they mostly spend their time watching Russian television.
The American embassy in Moscow has obtained a privacy waiver for Ms. Griner’s family and agents have not said much about her current situation, though they did not deny that she was a hostage and subsequently incarcerated.