WASHINGTON, August 30. /TASS/. Officials of the Russian embassy in the United States, who visited Russian citizen Maria Butina in a US jail, noted that she is still subjected to “inhumane” prison regulations that force her to stay awake at night, the embassy said in a statement.
“Maria is still being subjected to the inhumane regime of administrative segregation, due to which is has to stay awake between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. This is the only period when she is allowed to leave her cell. She is not being taken outside for a walk,” the embassy said.
“An approach of this kind, which we view as an attempt to put pressure on Maria, takes its toll on her mental and psychological condition. She requires constant support,” the statement reads. “Practice shows that Russians abroad are not guaranteed against the risk of attracting attention of US special services and becoming a victim of deliberate persecution. The public should resolutely react to this kind of lawlessness.”
Maria Butina, 29, was arrested in Washington DC on July 15. The Russian gun rights activist faces charges of conspiracy for conducting activities in the interests of a foreign state. According to the US Department of Justice, she is suspected of acting “as an agent of Russia inside the United States by developing relationships with US persons and infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics, for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation.” The next court hearing in Butina’s case is scheduled for September 10.
In a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on July 21, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov demanded Butina’s early release from custody stressing that charges against her were trumped-up. For her part, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Moscow would continue work to protect Butina’s rights and legitimate interests.
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