MOSCOW, July 21. /TASS/. The Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights has filed a request with the US Commission on Civil Rights, asking to protect the rights of Russian citizen Maria Butina, says a letter to the commission’s chair, Catherine Lhamon.
"The Council is deeply concerned about the situation with the young Russian woman. I would like to kindly ask you, Mr. Lhamon, to take our concern into account and to take whatever measures you consider best so as to defend the rights and main freedoms of Russian citizen Maria Butina," says the letter posted on the Russian human rights council on Saturday.
The Council for Civil Society and Human Rights underscored its readiness to get in close contact with the US Commission on Civil Rights. Mikhail Fedotov, the chair of the Russian human rights council, expressed the hope that "cooperation between the council and the commission will bring about positive changes in ensuring rights and freedoms for Russian citizens in the United States and for American citizens in Russia."
"We hope that contacts will become regular between the council and the commission," Fedotov said.
The 29-year-old Maria Butina was arrested in Washington on July 15. The Russian gun rights activist faces the charges of conspiracy for conducting activities in the interests of a foreign state. The investigators claim she engaged in these activities without registering as a foreign agent at the US Department of Justice.
On July 20, Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov slammed Butina’s arrest as a farce, promising Moscow would insist on her release.