Earlier this month the US government declared a change in status regarding WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was arrested and held by Russian authorities starting in February, prior to the start of the war in Ukraine. The State Dept. had for the first time deemed her “wrongfully detained”.
“The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is among the highest priorities of the U.S government,” the prior statement said. “The Department of State has determined that the Russian Federation has wrongfully detained US citizen Brittney Griner.” It explained: “With this determination, the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens will lead the interagency team for securing Brittney Griner’s release.”
And now a Russian court has extended her detention for another 30 days, according to sources cited by ESPN on Friday. She had reportedly requested to be placed under house arrest, which has been denied.