A hostage expert describes what inmates like Brittney Griner face when behind bars in a foreign country


Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool/Reuters

  • A hostage expert has explained the challenges inmates such as WNBA star Brittney Griner could face behind bars overseas.

  • Amy Manson of Hostage US told Newsy that foreign inmates often have poor diets and see dramatic weight loss.

  • Griner, detained in Russia for months, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges in July.

A hostage expert has pointed to the extreme trauma and challenges inmates like WNBA superstar Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan potentially face when held behind bars in a foreign country for an extended period of time.

“They face the reality of poor nutrition, sometimes without access to fresh air or daylight,” Amy Manson of Hostage US, an organization that provides various aids and resources to American hostages, told Newsy. and to their families.

Manson added: “Some of our returnees are dealing with a loss of 50 to 60 to 70 pounds. And then we talk about muscle wasting, as well as the impact on their bodies of constant poor diet and a constant stress,” according to the report.

President Joe Biden and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with Griner’s wife, Cherelle, at the White House on Friday, according to ESPN.

“I want to thank President Biden for today’s meeting. It was an honor to speak to him directly about the Brittney we know and love, and to thank him for the administration’s efforts to secure her release.” , Cherelle said in a statement. statement, according to ESPN’s TJ Quinn. “I’ve felt every minute of the grueling seven months without her. I look forward to the day my wife is home.”

Griner, who has been detained in Russia for months, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges in July, a decision that legal experts say will help her return to the United States.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist was sentenced to 9 years last month. The White House had previously offered to trade arms dealer Viktor Bout for Griner and Whelan, an ex-Marine detained in Russia.

Griner’s family and colleagues have continued to advocate for the Pheonix Mercury star’s release. During the interview with Newsy, Manson mentioned that when inmates like Griner and Whelan see their names in the headlines, “it’s incredibly uplifting.”

“Someone told me it was like the best medicine he could have had while he was in captivity — when he heard something was going on in relation to his captivity,” Manson told the point. sale.

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