Statement of U.S. Embassy Moscow CDA Elizabeth Rood
Following U.S. Citizen Brittney Griner’s Hearing
Moscow Oblast Court
October 25, 2022
Today was another sad day for the rule of law in the Russian Federation. In the case of U.S. citizen Brittney Griner, the appeals court made a slight reduction in her sentence for time served in pre-trial detention, but otherwise, did not change the excessive and disproportionate sentence of nine years in a penal colony. Ms. Griner appeared by video in the trial today, so we were not allowed to communicate with her. Therefore, we will continue to request consular access so we can be in touch with Ms. Griner directly.
It is honestly tragic that Ms. Griner had to spend her birthday last week in a Russian prison rather than at home with her family and on the basketball court with her teammates. Nothing in the previous sentence, nothing in the results of today’s appeal changes the fact that the U.S. Government considers Griner to be wrongfully detained. The U.S. Embassy in Moscow has no higher priority than the welfare of all U.S. citizens detained in Russia. Whether wrongfully detained or not. We will work very hard to ensure their fair treatment and their welfare. This is what we are here to do. Thank you.