US WNBA basketball superstar Brittney Griner attended a hearing on July 7, 2022 at Himki Court on the outskirts of Moscow.
Cyrillic Kudryavtsev | AFP | Getty Images
Washington-President Joe Biden signs an executive order to expand the tools available to the government to prevent hostages and the illegal detention of US citizens.
An executive order known as “strengthening efforts to bring hostages and unjustly detained U.S. citizens home” approves imposing economic sanctions and visa bans on those involved in hostage taking. increase.
“This executive order reflects the government’s commitment to the family in particular, as well as general issues, and is informed by the government’s regular involvement,” said the Biden administration, in turn, on anonymous terms. Said a senior official. Share details about the new executive order.
“The president is willing to make what he says publicly harsh, but when that means taking Americans home, he makes an important call,” a senior government official said. Said.
The State Department also said it would introduce a new risk indicator, the letter “D,” in travel recommendations to inform Americans of the risk of illegal detention by foreign governments. The “D” indicator joins the existing “K” indicator that identifies the risk of abduction.
Executive order comes when the Biden administration is working to free WNBA star Brittney Griner from Russian prisons. A 31-year-old Greener, who plays professional basketball in Russia during the WNBA’s off-season, was arrested at a Russian airport in February for smuggling hashish oil.
The Biden administration described the arrest of Grinner, a dramatic exposure that occurred when the Kremlin prepared for the war in Ukraine, as an illegal detention. Earlier this month she was found guilty of drugs in a Moscow court and will face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
“I’m afraid I’ll be here forever,” Olympian asked for direct help in her case in a letter to Biden.
Following the letter, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke with his wife, Sherel Greener.
Biden reassured his wife that she was working to secure Grinner’s release as soon as possible, according to a White House phone call. He also said on the phone that he was working on the release of US Marines Paul Whelan, who had been sentenced to 16 years in Russia.
In April, Russia agreed to release Reedi, a former US Marine Corps.Prisoner exchange with the United States..
Reed was accused of assaulting a Russian officer and was detained by authorities in 2019. He was later sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia. Reed and his family have maintained his innocence, and the US government has stated that he has been unfairly imprisoned.
For Reed’s release, Biden agreed to release Konstantin Yaroschenko, a Russian pilot who had been serving 20 years in federal prison for a plot to smuggle cocaine into the United States.