Justin Bieber offers to help Brittney Griner get out of prison
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Justin Bieber has offered to help get Brittney Griner out of prison following the news that the WNBA star had been handed a nine year sentence.
Back in February, the American basketball player was arrested at a Moscow airport after Russian police found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her bags.
The 31-year-old remained in custody until today (4 August), when it was revealed that a Russian judge found her guilty of drug possession and smuggling.
There has been a heavy backlash to the sentencing, including from Bieber who shared an Instagram Story that reads: "THIS HURTS. If anyone knows of anyway I can help please let me know."
Other celebrities who have slammed the verdict include Mia Farrow, who tweeted: "The Russian judge ignored everything Britney Griner had stated. He sentenced her to 9 years in a 'penal colony'. For carrying 2 vaping cartridges - medically prescribed. Damn. Heartbreaking."
Athletes have also joined the 'Free Brittney Griner' campaign, with fellow pro basketball player Kyrie Irving calling on President Joe Biden to step in and take action.
In a tweet, he wrote: "What is truly happening with our Queen @brittneygriner @POTUS @VP? Please give us an Update."
Griner apologised to her family and her team as a Russian court heard closing arguments in her drug possession trial ahead of the verdict.
She said it was not her intention to break the law by bringing vape cartridges with cannabis oil into the country when she flew to Moscow earlier this year to play basketball in the city of Yekaterinburg.
She said: "I want to apologise to my team-mates, my club, my fans and the city of (Yekaterinburg) for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I brought on them.
"I want to also apologise to my parents, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury organisation back at home, the amazing women of the WNBA, and my amazing spouse back at home."
The basketballer only had 0.7 grams of THC in her possession when arrested at the airport, but that has been enough for the Russian justice system to find her guilty.
Despite the ruling, Griner could still be able to return to the United States amid ongoing tensions between the US and Russia over Ukraine.
The POTUS said after the verdict was revealed that Griner is being wrongly detained, stating: "Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney.
"It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates."