Dozens of organizations representing people of color, women and LGBT voters have invited President Biden On Wednesday to conclude a deal to release Britney Greinerthe WNBA star who has been detained in Russia since February.
In a letter sent to Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, the groups said Ms. Greiner “continues to endure inhumane treatment, denied contact with her family.”
The letter said the United States “has admitted that Britney is essentially a political pawn in her designation as being unjustly detained”. While the signatories noted “deep appreciation” for the administration’s efforts to free Ms. Greiner, “we now urge you to strike a deal to bring Britney back home to America immediately and safely.”
The basketball player was Phoenix Mercury Detained in Russia on February 17 Accused of having hashish oil in her bag. At first, Ms. Grenier’s camp was concerned that the propaganda could make the situation worse due to tensions between Russia and the United States, including the war in Ukraine.
But the group policy has changed since The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on May 3 It decided that Mrs. Greiner was “unjustly detained”. This means that the United States can do more to bring her home despite legal action against her in Russia.
In recent weeks, players have worked for the WNBA with Mrs. Griner’s wife, Cherelle, and others I tried to draw attention to her case.
The latest effort, a message from groups including the National Organization for Women, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Urban League and the National Action Network, was coordinated by Ms. Greiner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, who worked with Democratic strategist Karen Finney and others. The groups, representing the coalition of constituencies that helped elect Biden, speak amid growing frustrations about the pace of efforts to bring Mrs. Greiner home.
“My understanding is they didn’t start negotiating her release, so this message is very powerful because it’s a much-needed support to highlight the fact that we’re at the point where you guys should be making a deal,” Cherelle Griner said.
“I wish I could say I have a clear understanding of that,” she said of White House strategy. “They talk to me a lot about programming.”
She said the administration was “discussing whether they should start negotiating” after it had already determined that his wife was being unjustly detained. “Instead, they argue and waste time from my wife’s life.”
White House officials declined to comment.
Administration officials said that Biden’s team is in regular contact with the Greiner family and that Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken spoke with Sheryl Greiner in May. The Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs is also in contact with Ms. Grenier’s team.
Bill Richardson, the former governor of New Mexico and a former US ambassador to the United Nations, has also worked to try to free Ms Greiner and another American in Russia, former Marine Paul Whelan, who has been in custody since 2018.
However, Sheryl Greiner said she was not sure how much the White House would prioritize the issue. She told the Associated Press that she was supposed to speak to her wife on the phone for the first time in about four months over the weekend, but a logistical problem at the US Embassy in Moscow turned plans upside down.
According to the Associated Press,The embassy was supposed to facilitate communication between the two women. But when Britney Greiner called the embassy to call her wife in the US, there was no answer. Britney Greiner’s lawyers said she tried to call the line 11 times while his wife waited unsuccessfully to call, the Associated Press reported.
“I was in a daze. I got hurt. I was done, fed up,” Cheryl Greiner told the Associated Press.
“Student. Incurable problem solver. Amateur baconaholic. Introvert. Infuriatingly humble music fanatic.”