WNBA star Brittney Griner is 'going through homophobia, racism and 16-HOUR working days' at penal colony

As efforts for a prisoner exchange to bring home WNBA star Brittney Griner continue, her prison sentence will begin in one of the worst prisons in Russia.

According to a report from The nation (via TMZ), the conditions Griner will face in the Yavas penal colony, some 270 miles southeast of Moscow in the federal territory of Mordovia, will be close to inhumane.

Conditions there have been referred to as ‘slavery-like’ by those who have served time there before, with almost non-existent medical care and 16-hour work days.

Beyond that, Griner is expected to face racist and homophobic backgrounds from guards and even other inmates.

Wnba Star And Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Brittney Griner Is Escorted From A Courtroom After A Hearing In Khimki, Outside Moscow, Russia, On August 4, 2022. The Jailed American Basketball Star Was Transferred To A Penal Colony In Russia, Her Legal Team Said Wednesday

Imprisoned American basketball star Brittney Griner has reportedly been taken to a penal colony in Mordovia, a Russian region roughly 270 miles southeast of Moscow, to serve out her nine-year sentence on drug charges.

Griner Has Been Transferred To Ik-2 In Yavas, One Of Several Penal Colonies In The Region, According To Reuters.

Griner has been transferred to IK-2 in Yavas, one of several penal colonies in the region, according to Reuters.

Even when she’s away from constant work, it’s unclear if there will be a bed that can support the 6-foot-8 basketball player.

An infamous women’s facility in Mordovia, IK-14, is located just seven minutes from Yavas.

The notorious penal colony is known as a rat-infested sweatshop for inmates, some of whom have lost their fingers from long hours on their sewing machines. To deal with the rat population, guards recruited stray cats, which were then disposed of in ovens to keep their numbers down, according to a 2019 report. Radio Free Europe report.

Veronika Krass, a former IK-14 prisoner, told Radio Free Europe that a “welcome to hell” sign greets new inmates at the penal colony.

The Female Penal Colony Known As Ik-2 Is Located In The City Of Yavas, 250 Miles From Moscow.

The female penal colony known as IK-2 is located in the city of Yavas, 250 miles from Moscow.

These Photos Taken On November 19 Show Where Griner Is Beginning His Sentence.

These photos taken on November 19 show where Griner is beginning his sentence.

The accounts of those who survived the camp do not paint a good picture. Musician and activist Nadya Tolokonnikova – founder of the band Pussy Riot – recalls that “beatings and torture are common” after spending two years there.

“As the inmates say: ‘If you haven’t served time in Mordovia, you haven’t served time,'” Tolokonnikova wrote in a letter published in 2013.

She described IK-14 as having “slavery-like conditions”, where she worked in a sewing shop for “16 to 17 hours a day” while sleeping “four hours a night”.

Notable Political Prisoners Have Served Time At Ik-14, Including Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (Pictured), A Founding Member Of The Punk Group, Pussy Riot, And A Vocal Opponent Of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Notable political prisoners have served time at IK-14, including Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (pictured), a founding member of the punk group, Pussy Riot, and a vocal opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Tolokonnikova’s description of IK-14 was characterized as “correct” by the head of the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN), Valery Maksimenko.

In December 2019, Maksimenko asked prosecutors to open an investigation into allegations of slave labor at the Mordovian facility. Finally, the director of IK-14, Yury Kupriyanov, was fired along with other officials.

‘When the girls find out that they are going to Mordovia, they cut their wrists, they do everything possible: they get sick, they swallow their nails, just so they don’t have to go there. Her reputation is well known, especially after Nadia Tolokonnikova’s letter,’ said Gelena Alekseyeva, a former deputy minister who was sentenced in 2013 to three and a half years in prison for inciting commercial bribery.

The Ik-2 Women'S Penal Colony In Yavas (Pictured Here In 1990) Is One Of Several Similar Facilities In Mordovia.

The IK-2 women’s penal colony in Yavas (pictured here in 1990) is one of several similar facilities in Mordovia.

In addition to work, these prisons are known among Russians for harboring extremely violent racism and homophobia, according to a report published in the moscow times.

Griner’s nationality will also make her susceptible to attack, with one prisoners’ rights activist saying the United States is seen as a “deadly enemy.”

That same report shows how surprised some Russians are that Griner was sent here, with one ex-con saying the prison is full of “detainees deemed ‘particularly dangerous’.” He added that he was ‘shocked’ that a famous athlete would be sent to ‘that dump’.

Women In Russian Penal Colonies Have Claimed They Are Used As Slave Labor, Working 17 Or 18 Hour Days.

Women in Russian penal colonies have claimed they are used as slave labor, working 17 or 18 hour days.

Despite this, those on Griner’s side say that she is trying to stay brave amidst the horrors that await her.

“Although she is alone and now approaching her ninth month in detention separated from loved ones, she is trying to stay strong,” representatives said.

Griner was sentenced in August following her February arrest at a Moscow airport, when Russian authorities say she was caught entering the country with vape cartridges containing cannabis oil. She was held in a detention center near Moscow until November 4, when she was transferred to an undisclosed prison.

Founded for the Soviet gulag system in 1931, Yavas remains one of the largest centers in Russia’s network of prisons and penal colonies. It currently has three institutions, including a women’s colony, a men’s colony, and a mixed colony.

Although Griner'S Specific Penal Colony Is Ik-2, A Notorious Facility For Women In The Region, Ik-14, Is Known As A Rat-Infested Sweatshop For Prisoners, Some Of Whom Have Lost Their Fingers During Long Hours In Prison. Their Sewing Machines.

Although Griner’s specific penal colony is IK-2, a notorious facility for women in the region, IK-14, is known as a rat-infested sweatshop for prisoners, some of whom have lost their fingers during long hours in prison. their sewing machines.

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