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Brittney Griner urges followers to write to Paul Whelan in Russia

Mercury Griner WNBA Basketball
Posted at 4:37 PM, Dec 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-21 16:37:07-05

Brittney Griner wants her followers to write Paul Whelan, who remains detained in Russia.

Griner posted a handwritten letter on Instagram on Wednesday. It details how much letters meant during while she spent nearly 10 months in a Russian prison.

"You took the time to show me you cared and I want to personally take the time to write to you and say that effort mattered," Griner wrote.

The WNBA star details how the letters helped her get through times when she felt vulnerable and full of regret.

"Your letters were also bigger than uplifting me," Griner wrote. "They showed me the power of collective hands."

The WNBA asked her followers to join her in advocating for the release of other Americans who were wrongly detained. She also provided an address where people can send letters to Whelan.

The former Marine has been detained in Russia for four years. He was sentenced in 2020 on espionage charges, which he calls baseless.

Griner was released this month in a prisoner swap with Russia. She was arrested in February at a Moscow airport for carrying cannabis oil.