Shaheen, Colleagues Call on Russia to Release Brittney Griner from Wrongful Detention

July 22, 2022

**Bipartisan Senate resolution urges U.S. government to press for WNBA player’s release, supports all prisoners unjustly imprisoned in the Russian Federation** 

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), John Cornyn (R-TX) and a bipartisan group of their Senate colleagues in introducing a resolution calling on the Russian government to immediately release U.S. citizen Brittney Griner from her wrongful detention, and urging the U.S. government in all its interactions with the Russian government to press for the WNBA player’s release. 

In addition to demanding action to end the 5-month-long wrongful detention of Griner, the resolution also expresses support for U.S. citizen Paul Whelan and all prisoners unjustly imprisoned in the Russian Federation.  

“For five months, Brittney Griner has been wrongfully detained by the Russian government. And for five months, her family has endured unimaginable trauma and anxiety in their fight to bring her home. It is outrageous and unacceptable for Russia or any other country to unjustly detain American citizens, and when that happens, it demands the full attention and weight of the United States to secure their freedom,” said Shaheen. “This resolution sends a message to the Kremlin from the U.S. Senate that we stand unequivocally behind Ms. Griner, Paul Whelan and all prisoners wrongly held by the Russian Federation and will do everything in our power to free them. Today we are calling on Putin to end his political reprisal and release them immediately.” 

The Senate resolution is a companion to a similar resolution already passed by the House. In addition to Senators Shaheen, Wyden and Cornyn, other co-sponsors of the Senate resolution are U.S. Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tina Smith (D-MN), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Robert Casey (D-PA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Gary Peters (D-MI), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Chris Coons (D-DE), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).   

Full text of the Senate resolution is available here.