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Griner moved to Penal Colony as President Biden protests

RUSSIA – Houston native and one-time Aldine Nimitz basketball star center Brittney Griner has lost her last appeal to a drug sentence, and authorities say she has been moved to a Penal Colony to serve out her nine-year term.

Russian officials did not indicate where the prison was located, but it is most likely in Siberia, US officials say.

Although US officials indicate they have been negotiating for her release or prisoner exchange, there is no indication the Russians are currently interested in that move.

President Biden on Wednesday of last week said at a press conference that he is “determined” to bring her home, and that he is hopeful that Putin is willing to negotiate “more seriously” now that US elections are over.

Biden indicated he had been in touch with Griner’s wife, and the White House indicated they had made a “significant offer” and additional proposals to Russia to secure the release of Griner and other Americans held by the Russians. Biden also asked the Russians to improve her treatment and the conditions she may be forced to endure in a penal colony. These are known for harsh living conditions and forced labor.

Griner’s agent Lindsay Colas said in a statement, “We ask for the public’s support in continuing to write letters and express their love and care for her.”

Griner was in Russia playing basketball, in the off-season from her US team the Phoenix Mercury. She was detained at a Russian airport last February with vials of cannabis oil in her luggage.