- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Relatives of Maria Butina, the Russian gun-rights activist charged with acting as an unregistered foreign agent, have appealed to Moscow’s human rights ombudsperson in hopes of securing her release from U.S. custody, her father said Wednesday.

Valery Butin told Russian state media that he urged Tatiana Moskalkova, Moscow’s high commissioner for human rights, to help broker his daughter’s return to Russia.

“I turned to [Moskalkova], [asked her] to stand up for [Maria] and help her come back to homeland,” he told the TASS news service.

Ms. Butina, 29, was arrested on July 15 in Washington, D.C., and she was subsequently charged in connection with allegedly attempting to secretly infiltrate U.S. political organizations for the purpose of advancing Russian interests.

She is currently being held in custody pending trial in Alexandria, Virginia, and Ms. Moskalkova claimed last month that Ms. Butina has been subject to “cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment” in the weeks following her arrest.

Representatives for Russia’s High Commissioner for Human Rights did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

“I ask the global human rights community to evaluate the treatment of convicts in the USA and urge the US government to humanize the conditions of imprisonment,” Ms. Moskalkova said previously.

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