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After visiting Butina in US jail, Russian diplomats to send note to Department of State

Maria Butina  AP Photo
Maria Butina
© AP Photo

WASHINGTON, August 17. /TASS/. Russian diplomats, who visited Russian citizen Maria Butina in a Washington jail on Thursday, described her prison conditions as inadmissible and will send a note of protest to the US Department of State, the Russian embassy in Washington said.

"On August 16, embassy officials once again visited Maria Butina in a Washington jail. After the visit, a note will be sent to the US Department of State with a demand to stop using psychological pressure and humiliation against the Russian citizen," the embassy said in a statement.

"The prison administration has resumed the inhumane practice of regular night checks, made every 15 minutes. This practice is applied to inmates prone to suicide," the statement reads, adding that Butina "gave no reasons to be considered as such."

"In breach of all humanitarian norms, Maria was denied the right to receive letters in Russian under the pretext that they contain ‘encrypted messages.’ However, as a matter of fact the prison administration just does not take the trouble to find a translator," the statement reads.

"She is not receiving due medical assistance. Her leg, which has swollen due to constant low temperature in her cell, is getting worse. She is given painkillers instead of treatment and began to limp. Creating such conditions for our citizen, who has not yet been convicted and still remains in the status of the suspect, is inadmissible," the embassy said.

Butina case

Russian citizen Maria Butina, 29, was arrested in Washington DC on July 15.

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.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlier that Moscow considered Washington’s allegations against Butina to be groundless and politically motivated. According to her, Russia has been doing everything possible to protect the woman’s legitimate rights and interests.