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Brittney Griner – Former Inmate ‘Terrified’ For WNBA Star Due To Russian Penal Colony’s ‘Slave Like Conditions’: Prisoners Cannot Stand It & Some Commit Suicide


Brittney Griner, Nadya Tolokonnikova

Brittney Griner – Former Inmate ‘Terrified’ For WNBA Star Due To Russian Penal Colony’s ‘Slave Like Conditions’: Prisoners Cannot Stand It & Some Commit Suicide

Brittney Griner may be experiencing horrific conditions while imprisoned at a Russian penal colony. 

As previously reported, WNBA star Brittney Griner has been transferred to a Female Penal Colony in the Russian region of Mordovia where she will be serving a nine-year sentence for traveling into Russia with vape cartridges containing less than a gram of cannabis oil. According to RadarOnline, on Wednesday (Nov.23) a former inmate of the Russian penal colony, Nadya Tolokonnikova, shared her concerns for Brittney Griner after she famously spent two years in a Russian penal colony on “hooliganism” charges.

Brittney Griner

In a recent interview, member of the musical group “P*ssy Riot,” Nadya Tolokonnikova said: 

“I’m terrified that Brittney Griner was moved to IK-2. It’s one of the harshest colonies — it is literally the harshest colony in the whole Russian prison system.”

Referring that she was imprisoned in IK-14 instead of IK-2, Nadya Tolokonnikova continued:

“I was protesting terrible conditions in my penal colony, but I know every single chief official who works at IK-2, and I know exactly what human rights abuses they perform on a daily basis and the kind of torture they use against prisoners.”

Tolokonnikova was candid about the “slave-like conditions” within the 820-woman capacity facility in Yavas. Prisoners are mandated to perform manual labor, including cooking, cleaning, and sewing — for “up to 17 hours a day” without breaks or days off. Griner and other prisoners are expected to meet output quotas that are most times unreasonably high. If they don’t meet those standards, according to Tolokonnikova they’ll “be punished, and that includes daily torture.” The “P*ssy Riot” member added:

“A lot of prisoners just cannot stand it and some of them decide to commit suicide. Medical help is practically nonexistent. And, let’s say, you’re being tortured and go to prison doctors to document the fact that you’ve been tortured, obviously, they do not see anything and are not witnesses of your torture.”

Brittney Griner

 Tolokonnikova explained:

“What I’m really scared of is Brittney hiding the fact that she is being heavily oppressed in this penal colony, because that’s what happened with me. I was told that if I’m going to say to one single person about abuses, the whole penal colony is gonna suffer because of me. And I didn’t open my mouth for a year.”

The 24-year-old spoke out in the form of a hunger strike which resulted in several of the high-ranking officials at her penal colony to be tried and convicted of wrongdoing. 10-years-later Tolokonnikova advises that the 32-year-old copes through her incarceration “minute to minute because you never know when you’re gonna get attacked.” She elaborated: 

“What gives me hope is that, normally, prisoners that have some media attention, they’re not getting tortured. I wasn’t physically tortured. They used physical force against me, just to move me places, but they didn’t beat me. They didn’t rape me. Unfortunately, rape happens in IK-2 as well.”

She added:

“What gave me strength is understanding that it’s gonna be finished at some point and always realizing that you have a level of protection because you have lawyers, you have media attention — things that other prisoners do not have. What I would suggest to Brittney if I could [would be] to not work at the sweatshops. You might think for a second that if I’m gonna follow the rules, then my life is gonna be better, but in fact, those conditions are horrific.”

Tolokonnikova alleged the sewing machines are “so old” that they inevitably result in injuries to prisoners. She described a time where the needle pierced her finger, leaving her “covered in blood” but still being forced to sew uniforms for Russian officials. A prisoners choice is to never make it to solitary confinement sounds but Tolokonnikova insists that it’s “better than working on a daily basis in these aggressive, slave-like labor conditions.”

Watch Tolokonnikova’s full interview below:

What are your thoughts on the conditions at Brittney Griner’s Russian penal colony?



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