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Woman suspected of being Russian agent ‘mistreated in US jail’

Moscow claims Maria Butina is being held in solitary confinement, and is not being properly fed.

Maria Butina (AP)

Moscow has claimed that a Russian woman arrested in the United States on charges of acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Russia is being mistreated in jail.

Maria Butina is being kept in solitary confinement in a cold cell in Washington DC, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

The spokeswoman claimed that prison officials are interrupting Butina’s sleep, not feeding her properly and not letting her breathe fresh air.

Ms Zakharova described Butina’s treatment in jail as “complete lawlessness”, and urged the international human rights community to intervene.

Butina was arrested this month and awaits trial on charges of conspiracy and acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Russia.

Prosecutors have accused her of using sex and deception to forge influential connections.

She has pleaded not guilty.