The trial for Brittney Griner is set to resume July 7, after the WNBA star was detained by the Russian Federal Customs Service back in February for cannabis oil that was allegedly found in her luggage.
As people around the U.S celebrated July 4th and America’s Independence Day this weekend, Griner penned a letter to President Joe Biden, pleading with his administration for advocacy in her case.
Excerpts from the letter have been released publicly by representative of Griner’s, although the entirety of the letter is being kept private.
“On the 4th of July, our family normally honors the service of those men who fought for our freedom, including my father who is a Vietnam War Veteran,” one excerpt read. “It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year.”
“I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you,” another excerpt reads. “I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore. I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my teammates! It kills me to know they are suffering so much right now. I am grateful for whatever you can do at this moment to get me home.”
A Russian judge ordered Griner to remain in custody for the duration of the trial. The Phoenix Mercury center played in Russia during the WNBA off-season, where like other players, she was offered more money.
Last month, the State Department stated Griner is being wrongfully detained in Russia. Officials also met with members of Griner’s WNBA team to discuss ways the Biden administration could intervene in her release.
The meeting also involved officials from a specialized unit within the State Department who advocate for hostages, as well as Americans who are wrongfully detained in other countries.