Colin Allred: US representative says Brittney Griner case is “extremely disturbing” and that her consular access has been blocked

Colin Allred: US representative says Brittney Griner case is “extremely disturbing” and that her consular access has been blocked

Russian authorities arrested Griner last month, claiming he had cannabis oil in her luggage and accused her of smuggling large amounts of the drug – a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Speaking to CNN’s Don Lemon, a Texas congressman said the U.S. embassy had asked for consular access to her but was denied for three weeks.

Allred admitted that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was “on the whole problem” of bringing Griner back to the US.

“For Brittney’s sake, we don’t want her to be part of the kind of political battle that is going on, and we want to make sure that her rights are respected and that we are able to access her and that she can go through the process and come back. home as soon as possible, ”Allred told CNN on Thursday.

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Allred said Griner has been in touch with her Russian lawyer who is in touch with her agent and her family at home.

“So we know she’s fine,” Allred said, adding that he was also in contact with the player’s agent.

CNN contacted Russian officials and the US Embassy in Moscow to comment on Griner consular access, but received no reply.

“They should just know that our government, the State Department, people like me in the Congress of the Foreign Affairs Committee, will do whatever we can to bring her home to bring home every other American who has been wrongfully detained.” . Allred said, speaking of American families being held in state detention.

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The US State Department was “working very diligently” on the Griner case, spokesman Ned Price said at Friday’s briefing.

“We have been in close contact with her surroundings, providing all forms of appropriate support, and we will continue to do so,” he said, but declined to provide further details.

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Griner’s whereabouts are not known to the public. CNN asked the Russian Foreign Office for comment, but received no reply.

A member of the US House of Representatives Armed Forces Committee said this week that it would be “very difficult” to get Griner out of Russia under the current circumstances.

“Our diplomatic relationship with Russia does not exist at the moment,” Democrat John Garamendi of California CNN said on Monday.

“Perhaps during the various negotiations that might take place, she might be one of the solutions. I do not know”.

He also noted that “Russia has very, very strict LGBT rules and regulations” – though it is unclear whether these rules and regulations could affect Griner’s case.

Russia enacted LGBTQ laws and banned “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations around minors.”

In an Instagram post, Griner’s wife described the agony of waiting.

“People say be busy.” However, there is no task in this world that can stop us from worrying about you. My heart, our hearts, skip the rhythms every day, “Cherelle Griner wrote on Monday.

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“There are no words to express this pain. It hurts me, it hurts me.

Over the weekend, she thanked the fans and asked for privacy, “because we are still working on my wife’s safe return home.”

CNN’s Melissa Alonso, Lucy Kafanov, Wayne Sterling, Rosa Flores, Lisa France, Chris Boyette and Chenelle Woody contributed to this report.