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No release news for Griner, Whelan yet. Biden meeting with families

While some were expecting to hear positive news about the future of Brittany Griner and Phil Whelan; the two political prisoners held in Russia; the news was less than positive even though President Joe Biden sought to assure Griner’s wife, who he met with on Friday and Whelan’s sister, who he is also expected to meet with, that he was committed to securing their loved ones’ release.
Griner has been detained since February 2022. In July she pleaded guilty to drug smuggling charges and was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison. All along pundits and experts asserted that the guilty plea was merely the defense’s strategy in an effort to speed up the process of her release.
It was also in July that the U.S. proposed that Griner and Paul Whelan, a former Marine who has also been wrongfully detained in Russia for nearly four years, be exchanged for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is serving a 25-year sentence in the US.
Former NBA great, Dennis Rodman is among those who have offered to meet with Russian officials to secure Griner’s release.
The WNBA, Rev. Al Sharpton, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and others have been vocal in calling for her release.
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