Brittney Griner Faces ‘Abusive’ Conditions in Russian Penal Colony, Former Prisoner Says

by Dustin Schutte
(Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

A former prisoner painted a very grim picture of what Brittney Griner will endure in a Russian penal colony. Former Marine Trevor Rowdy Reed’s father, Joey, detailed some of the “abusive” conditions the WNBA star will face in an interview with the New York Post.

Reed, who spent almost 1,000 days in Russia as a detainee, was accused of assaulting two Moscow police officers in 2019. He spent nine months in a penal colony until his release in April 2022. Reed’s father explained the harsh circumstances.

“You gotta understand, the labor camps in Mordovia, these are pre-Stalin era prisons … literally referred to as gulags,” Joey said. “And even though there’s a federal authority for prisons, each warden has wide leeway to do whatever they want until it makes someone angry or leads to bad press.”

Primarily discussed in the story was the foul nature of the food. Trevor reportedly lost 50 pounds because of the “horrible food.” Prisoners usually received potato soup or fish that contained “crunchy bones.”

“That’s how bad it is,” Joey said. “There was no real health value to the food.”

Other inmates have experienced mental abuse, systemic torture and other barbaric treatment while imprisoned in the penal colony.

President Biden Addresses Brittney Griner’s Transfer to Penal Colony

President Joe Biden and the U.S. Government has made it clear that they’re working hard to bring Brittney Griner back to American soil. Unfortunately, the two sides can’t reach a deal at this time.

Biden recently expressed new hope that Russian officials might show Griner some sympathy.

“My hope is that now that the election is over, that Mr. Putin will be able to discuss with us and be willing to talk more seriously about prisoner exchange,” Biden said. 

National security advisor Jake Sullivan also commented on the situation recently.

“She is being held unjustly. She should be released immediately,” he said. “So far the Russians have not shown a willingness to engage in that back and forth to produce a result.”