The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation Statement on the Anniversary of the Detention of Brittney Griner

WASHINGTON – On the anniversary of the unjust detention of WNBA star Brittney Griner in Russia, the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation renewed its call for the U.S. government to use every possible tool to bring home every American being held hostage or unjustly detained overseas.

“One year ago today Brittney Griner was detained in Russia on trumped-up charges. She was able to come home thanks to intensive, creative diplomacy,” said Foley Foundation Founder and President Diane Foley. “But sadly Brittney’s fellow Americans, including Paul Whelan, were not permitted to come home with her. Today at there are still at least 60 American nationals who are still being held overseas in at least 16 countries, as hostages or political pawns.”

“Over 90% of the Americans being unjustly held overseas are classified as wrongful detentions like Brittney Griner,” continued Ms. Foley. “They are U.S. nationals being unjustly taken and held by foreign governments, and their detention directly interferes with our foreign policy. The U.S. government should use every possible tool to bring home Paul Whelan and every other American being held overseas.”