05:57 GMT +313 December 2019
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    Russian activist Mariia Butina was arrested Sunday, July 15 by the FBI on charges of being an unregistered agent.

    Russian Diplomats Visit Butina, Demand Humane Treatment Amid Isolation

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Russian diplomats have visited Maria Butina in US prison and demanded that the prison administration treats her humanely as they continue holding her in complete isolation, the press office of the Russian Embassy in the United States said in a release.

    "The embassy’s diplomats visited M. Butina. For 36 days in a row, the regime of administrative segregation continues to be applied to the Russian national," the release said on Wednesday. "[The diplomats] demanded from the administration of the prison humane treatment of M. Butina. We continue to seek her earliest release."

    The Russian embassy pointed out in the release that the US prison authorities have held Butina fully isolated for more than three months.

    "Maria complained about the cold in the cell — the prison authorities did not turn on the heating. Despite the difficult conditions of detention, the Russian woman remains strong and does not lose hope to return home and reunite with the family," the release said.

    The Russian embassy noted that the diplomats expressed their best wishes to Butina for the upcoming New Year and Christmas holidays.

    "[The diplomats] conveyed to her the warmest wishes from all compatriots, who empathize with her in the difficult situation caused by the arbitrariness of the American authorities," the release said.

    Previously, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that there was no reason for keeping Russian citizen Maria Butina, accused of conspiracy to influence Washington's relations with Moscow, in US custody. Putin suggested the US judiciary was pushing the case through to "save its face," adding that Russia would keep an eye on the legal battle to see what happens next and assist Butina if possible.

    READ MORE: Russian Embassy Says Called on US Prison for Humane Treatment of Butina

    US authorities arrested Butina in mid-July after she pleaded guilty earlier to one count of conspiracy to act as a foreign agent in the United States. Initial charges against her carried a prison sentence of up to 15 years. The next hearing in Butina case is set for February 13 and she may be sentenced to five years in prison and eventually deported to Russia.


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