From illegally invading Ukraine to poisoning political dissidents in the U.K., there’s no shortage of reasons why Vladimir Putin’s Russia is a backwards, corrupt pariah state. The latest sad news to come out of Moscow is the fate of WNBA star Brittney Griner. Widely considered one of the greatest women’s basketball players of all time, Russia’s judicial system today upheld the severe nine-year prison sentence she received in August after being arrested at a Russian airport this winter for accidentally packing two legally prescribed vape cartridges in her luggage.
Sadly, Brittney Griner isn’t alone in being subjected to this horrible situation. The James Foley Legacy Foundation, named in honor of an American journalist kidnapped and killed by ISIS back in 2014, estimates there are 59 Americans being unjustly detained abroad by authoritarian governments like Iran, Syria, and Venezuela at this very moment. Each has a family and loved ones who desperately wish to see them free. It can seem like people in the U.S. agree on less and less these days, but some facts just aren’t up for debate. We all need to stand together as a nation and make sure our fellow Americans come safely home.