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Administrative segregation lifted for US-jailed Russian citizen Butina — embassy

Butina is now permitted to take open air walks, use the gym and communicate with people around her

WASHINGTON, September 22. /TASS/. The administration of a US prison in Alexandria has agreed to release Russian citizen Maria Butina from administrative segregation, the Russian embassy in Washington said on its Facebook page on Friday.

"Thanks to joint efforts by the Russian Foreign Ministry, the embassy and lawyers, the Alexandria prison administration has agreed to place Maria under the general prison regime. The 35-day period of the so-called administrative segregation (isolation), normally applied to brutal criminals, is now over," the embassy said.

The embassy said that Butina is now permitted to take open air walks, use the gym, "and, most importantly, to have normal interpersonal communication with other people around her."

"We, on our part, will continue to render her consular and other assistance in full. We will press for unconditional release of the political prisoner, who unjustly suffers from internal anti-Russian political squabbling in the US," it added.

Maria Butina, 29, was arrested in Washington on July 15, on the eve of the Helsinki summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump. The Russian gun rights activist is facing charges of conspiracy for conducting activities in the interests of a foreign state. Investigators claim that she was engaged in these activities without registering as a foreign agent at the US Department of Justice.

During the July 21 phone talk with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov demanded Butina’s soonest release and described the charges against her as fabricated.