Eight months after her arrest in Moscow, Britney Greiner She is celebrating her 32nd birthday in a Russian prison instead of with her family.
The NBA star issued a letter on Tuesday, saying that she drew her support from the support she received, according to a statement shared by Maria Blagovolina, partner at the law firms of Rybalkin, Gortsunyan, Dyakin and Partners.
“Thank you all for fighting so hard to get me home. All the support and love definitely helps me,” Greiner said in her message, according to the statement.
The statement said Greiner’s attorneys, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boikov, spent a few hours with Grener on Tuesday and passed on her many Christmas wishes.
In a video released as part of the campaign, Cheryl said, “I’ve felt every moment of seven stressful months without her.”
She thanked those who supported the cause as well as specifically mentioning Joe Biden, saying, “I want to thank President Biden for the administration’s efforts to secure her release.”
Greiner was arrested in February when he entered Russia for possession of cannabis oil. The center pleaded guilty to drug charges, saying she accidentally filled vape cartridges containing cannabis oil when she was in a hurry.
In August, the WNBA All-Star was convicted eight times and sentenced to nine years in prison. Next week, her legal team will appeal the decision to the Moscow District Court.
After her arrest, the US State Department designated Greiner as unjustly detained, which means that regardless of her legal status in Russia, the US government will seek to negotiate her release.
In July, the US government announced that it had made a “substantial proposal” to return Greiner and Paul Whelan, a former US Marine serving a 16-year prison sentence in Russia, to the United States.
But since that announcement, there has been little information about moves taken to release the two-time Olympic gold medalist and the US Embassy in Russia has not been able to access Griner since early August, US State Department spokesman Ned Price confirmed last week. .
Griner’s friends and family have sought renewed support and pressure to bring her home through the #WeAreBG campaign.
Fellow USA member, Breanna Stewart, wrote on Twitter, “We’re not a family without #BrittneyGriner. Time to bring her home back. #WeAreBG. Today marks eight months into her wrongful confinement. She needs her family now more than ever. BG – We haven’t forgotten you And we won’t rest until you come home.”
The tweet came after she won the Basketball World Cup, which had she not been in prison, Greiner would have been a part of.
Stewart, along with his USA Griner teammates and other WNBA players, also showed their solidarity with the Pheonix Mercury player by boycotting play in Russia during the WNBA offseason.
Players regularly trade with European teams during the off-season to supplement their WNBA salaries, with many like Griner and Stewart playing for teams in Russia.
But this year, players have instead opted to play in different European countries.
“The whole situation with BJ makes it very difficult to think that it is safe for anyone to go back there now,” said Courtney Vanderslot, who previously played for Grenier for Russia’s Yekaterinburg side.
Other American athletes, such as Alex Morgan, have shown their support on social media by posting pictures of them wearing Greiner’s photo on her T-shirt.
In addition to asking people to join the movement and petition to free Griner, the #WeAreBG campaign has also asked people to write notes for Griner where they hope this will be the last birthday you celebrate in prison.