‘I’m afraid I might be here forever’: Brittany Griner writes handwritten letter to Biden

“(As) I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jerseys, or any achievements, I fear I may stay here forever ,” she wrote, according to a statement issued by the communications company representing the Griner family.

Griner, 31, who played in Russia during the WNBA off-season, was arrested on February 17 a week ago at Moscow airport Russia invades Ukraine, Russian authorities claimed his luggage contained cannabis oil and accused him of smuggling a significant amount of a narcotic, a crime that could carry up to 10 years in prison. He went on test In a court near Moscow on Friday on charges of drug trafficking.

Griner’s supporters and US officials say he has been unfairly detained and have called for his release because of fears he may be used as a political pawn amid rising tensions between Russia and the US. Used to be.

Griner’s letter to Biden was delivered to the White House on Monday morning, according to a communications company statement. Three parts of the letter were made public, while the rest are being kept private, the statement said.

“On the 4th of July, our family generally honors the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father, who is a Vietnam War veteran. It hurts to think that I usually do this. How I celebrate the day because freedom means something different to me. Year,” Griner wrote to Biden.

“I realize you’re going through a lot, but please don’t forget about me and the other American detainees. Please do everything you can to bring us home. I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. Me Believe in you. I still have to do so well with my independence that you can help restore. I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my mates! It makes me so sad to know that they are suffering so much right now. I am grateful for whatever you can do at this time to bring me home.”

CNN has reached out to the White House for comment.

Griner’s wife, Cherrell, told CNN Last week she wants US officials to do whatever it takes to bring the basketball legend home — and they need to see more of her.

In the only interview she gave on the eve of her wife’s trial in Russia, Cherrell Griner sat in the Phoenix Mercury locker room and called for more action.

“It’s really, really hard. This is not a situation where rhetoric matches action,” she said. “I unfortunately have to push people to make sure that the things they’re telling me also match their actions, and so finding that balance has been the hardest thing because I can’t give up. 130 Days It’s over and BG is still not behind.”

US House of Representatives last month passed a bipartisan resolution Called on the Russian government to immediately release the WNBA star.

“Not a day goes by when we’re not thinking about Britney and working to get her home,” Democratic Representative Greg Stanton of Arizona, who sponsored the proposal, said in a statement. “We will continue to push for his release and ensure that he is not forgotten.”

Stanton previously served as mayor of Phoenix, where Griner plays for the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA.

Stanton moved the motion in May along with Democratic Reps Sheila Jackson Lee and Colin Allred of Texas, Griner’s home state.

Cherrell Griner said in a statement at the time, “I am grateful for this tremendous show of support from Congress. We need to do everything we can to put Brittany’s case at the fore and ultimately end this nightmare.” ”

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Brittany Griner’s first name.

CNN’s Abby Philippe, Steve Almasy, Homero de la Fuente and Rachel Zampaza contributed to this report.