Aug 6, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Trevor Reed: Brittney Griner to face "serious" health threats in Russian prison

Trevor Reed, an American citizen recently freed from a Russian prison, told CNN that WNBA star Brittney Griner will experience "serious threats" to her health if she is sent to a labor camp.

Driving the news: "Anyone who is in a forced labor camp in Russia is obviously, you know, facing serious threats to their health because of malnutrition," he told CNN in an interview. "There's little to no medical attention there whatsoever. "

  • Reed said the disease tuberculosis "runs rampant in Russian prisons" and there are "diseases that they have there in Russia which are largely extinct in the United States now."

Flashback: Reed, a Marine veteran who was freed through a prisoner exchange earlier this year, was held in a Russian prison for 985 days after being accused of assaulting a Russian law enforcement official, USA Today reports.

  • Reed was sentenced to nine years in a labor camp and developed health issues during his time there, including multiple cases of COVID-19. He previously described conditions at labor camps as "medieval," per USA Today.

The big picture: Griner was found guilty on drug charges by a Russian court last week and sentenced to nine years in prison, Axios' Ivana Saric reports.

  • The sentence comes almost six months after she was arrested at a Russian airport when authorities said they found a vape cartridge with hash oil in her luggage.

What's next: Griner may appeal the decision, which means she'll stay at a detention facility until it is completed, Reed told CNN. Otherwise, she will likely be sent to a labor camp.

  • But Russia may leave her in Moscow if a prisoner exchange is on the table, he added.
  • Reed said Griner's case "sentence is clearly political. There's no denying that."

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