A former inmate in a Russian penal colony recently spoke out to say she is “terrified” for Brittney Griner after the imprisoned American basketball player was moved to “one of the harshest colonies” in the country, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Nadya Tolokonnikova, a member of the Russian punk rock and protest band P---y Riot, was arrested in August 2012 for "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" and sentenced to two years in a Russian penal colony.
Although Tolokonnikova was not imprisoned in IK-2 – the penal colony Griner was moved to earlier this month – the convicted punk rocker revealed Griner will likely be subjected to “human rights abuses” and “torture” at IK-2.
Tolokonnikova also indicated Griner will be forced to live in “slave like conditions” at the new penal colony.
“I’m terrified that Brittney Griner was moved to IK-2,” the P---y Riot member told MSNBC on Wednesday. “It’s one of the harshest colonies — it is literally the harshest colony in the whole Russian prison system.”
“I was protesting terrible conditions in my penal colony,” she continued. “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.”
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“Prisoners are expected to perform manual labor — including tasks like cooking, cleaning, and sewing — for up to 17 hours a day without breaks or days off,” Tolokonnikova added regarding the “slave-like conditions” experienced by prisoners at IK-2.
As RadarOnline.com previously reported, Griner was first arrested in February 2022 after arriving to Moscow from New York City with vape cartridges allegedly containing less than one gram of marijuana oil in her luggage.
The 32-year-old WNBA star was found guilty of the charges against her in August and sentenced to 9.5 years in a Russian penal colony. She then lost her sentence appeal in October, which is when she was ordered to be transferred to IK-2.
"This has been a very traumatic experience, waiting for this day … getting nine years for the crime," Griner said the day of her appeal. "People with more severe crimes have gotten less than what I was given."
President Joe Biden has described Griner’s nearly ten-year sentence as “unacceptable” and called her trial a "sham judicial proceeding." The Biden Administration has also vowed to bring Griner home, including via a potential prisoner swap.
"President Biden has been very clear that Brittney should be released immediately," a statement released by the White House read. "In recent weeks, the Biden-Harris Administration has continued to engage with Russia through every available channel and make every effort to bring home Brittney as well as to support and advocate for other Americans detained in Russia, including fellow wrongful detainee Paul Whelan.”