Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

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Griner Back In Court Near Moscow Against Backdrop Of Prisoner Swap Talks.

Griner has been detained in Russia since authorities said they found cannabis oil in vape cartridges in her luggage when she passed through Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport in February.

Griner has been detained in Russia since authorities said they found cannabis oil in vape cartridges in her luggage when she passed through Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport in February.

U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner has appeared in a Russian court for another hearing in her slow-moving trial on drug charges as Washington presses Moscow for a prisoner swap that would prevent the two-time Olympic champion from facing a possible decade in prison.

The 31-year-old American made a brief court appearance at the Khimki court near Moscow on August 2 wearing a plain khaki T-shirt and round-rimmed glasses, holding up photographs as she entered the defendant's cage.

Griner has been detained in Russia since authorities said they found cannabis oil in vape cartridges in her luggage when she passed through Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport in February.

En route to join her Russian team, UMMC Ekaterinburg, for the playoffs after a brief trip home to the United States, Griner has pleaded guilty to the charge, saying she must have accidentally packed the vape cartridges while rushing to the airport for her flight to Russia.

The U.S. government is under pressure at home to do more to secure her freedom after deeming her as being "wrongfully detained."

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke by phone on July 29 to discuss a possible prisoner swap that could include Griner and Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

The call marked the highest-level known contact between Washington and Moscow since Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24.

Griner faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the drugs-possession charges in a case that critics fear is an attempt by Moscow to extract concessions from Washington amid Russia's war on Ukraine and with relations at a low point.

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