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Moscow Accuses U.S. Of Mistreating Jailed Russian National Butina


Russian national Maria Butina is being held in the United States. (file photo)

Moscow has accused U.S. authorities of mistreating a Russian woman jailed on charges of acting as an unregistered foreign agent for the Kremlin and called on international rights organizations to intervene.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters in Moscow on August 3 that Maria Butina is being kept in a cold cell in solitary confinement while officials are continually interrupting her sleep.

She added, without providing evidence, that Butina is not receiving proper meals and is being deprived of fresh air.

Officials from the Russian Embassy in Washington visited Butina in pretrial detention on July 26.

U.S. officials did not immediately comment on Zakharova remarks, which follow several previous condemnations of Butina’s arrest by Russian officials. Moscow has previously described Butina as a "political prisoner."

Butina, 29, has been accused of attempting to infiltrate political groups, including the powerful National Rifle Association, to advance Russian interests while reporting back to a high-ranking official in Moscow in violation of a U.S. foreign-agent law.

Butina is being held in Washington without bail after prosecutors argued that she was a flight risk.

She has pleaded not guilty.

Based on reporting by AP and TASS
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