Pictures of Brittney Griner in Custody Offer Few Clues to Her Well-Being

Photographs of the W.N.B.A. star Brittney Griner being led by way of a courthouse exterior Moscow had been launched this week earlier than her trial on drug costs that’s set to start on Friday, giving the Western world a uncommon glimpse of her after 4 months of being detained in Russia.

In a number of the images, a handcuffed Ms. Griner seems nervous. She wears a grey T-shirt and spherical eyeglasses. The wrists of her lengthy arms are cuffed collectively after which cuffed to a guard’s arm. Some followers described the images as “heartbreaking.”

Just a few photos of Ms. Griner have been launched since her arrest in an airport close to Moscow on Feb. 17, every week earlier than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, they usually have been scrutinized for clues about her psychological and bodily well being. She was detained as she handed by way of safety after officers mentioned they’d discovered vape cartridges with traces of cannabis oil in her baggage. If convicted, she faces a sentence of as much as 10 years at a penal colony.

Her detention and trial has been broadly seen within the West as retribution for American assist for Ukraine within the conflict with Russia. Her spouse, Cherelle Griner, has solely been in a position to talk with Brittney Griner by way of letters.

After 4 months of the pair’s not with the ability to converse to one another, Russian officers permitted a cellphone name between them for June 18, however the two had been unable to attach as a result of the cellphone line on the U.S. Embassy in Russia was not staffed.

“She’s telling me she’s OK,” Ms. Griner’s spouse mentioned in a current radio interview with the Rev. Al Sharpton. Cherelle Griner mentioned Brittney Griner had vowed, “I gained’t allow them to break me.”

However Brittney Griner is struggling, her spouse mentioned. “She’s a human, she’s there terrified, she’s there alone,” Cherelle Griner mentioned. “It’s not simply that she will’t converse to her family members. She will be able to’t converse to anybody as a result of she doesn’t converse the language. It’s inhumane on all sorts of ranges.”

The pictures of Ms. Griner launched on Monday had been accompanied by a video by which Ms. Griner, flanked by 4 cops and a canine, walks down a corridor after which up a flight of stairs.

Although handcuffed, she towers above her Russian guards and strikes with confidence. At one level she purses her lips collectively and shakes her head back and forth, as if in disbelief.

The pictures launched Monday had been the primary to look since Might 13, when an Related Press photographer took an image of Ms. Griner leaving a courtroom in Khimki, Russia. She wore an orange sweatshirt with an Air Jordan emblem on the sleeve. The hood was pulled over her bowed head in order that her face was not seen. She was handcuffed and chained to a guard behind her. Two extra guards encompass her.

That picture prompted questions in america about Ms. Griner’s bodily and emotional well-being.

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