Brittany Griner is deported to the Russian penal colony
Jailed American basketball star Brittney Griner has been moved from a detention center outside of Moscow and is being sent to a Russian penal colony to begin serving out her nine-year sentence on drug smuggling charges, her lawyers said Wednesday.
A statement released by Griner's legal team says they do not have information on Griner's "exact current location or her final destination."
The statement also said that in accordance with "standard Russian procedure," they anticipate Russian authorities will notify Griner's legal team and the U.S. embassy of Griner's whereabouts upon arrival at her destination.
Russian prison transfers can extend from several days to several weeks.
The transfer move follows a Russian appeals court decision that upheld Griner's conviction on drug smuggling charges last month.
The White House assailed the decision as "sham justice" — even as it made clear it continues to work to gain Griner's freedom through a potential prisoner exchange.
"Every minute that Brittney Griner must endure wrongful detention in Russia is a minute too long," said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a statement.
"As the Administration continues to work tirelessly to secure her release, the President has directed the Administration to prevail on her Russian captors to improve her treatment and the conditions she may be forced to endure in a penal colony," the statement said.