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05:06

Russia: 'I didn't expect such a severe punishment' – Butina on 'absurd' 18 month sentence

Russian Federation, Moscow
April 30, 2019 at 19:10 GMT +00:00 · Published

Russian gun activist Maria Butina spoke to reporters by phone in Moscow on Tuesday after she was sentenced to 18 months in prison in the US on Friday for failing to register as a foreign agent.

“I did not expect such a severe punishment. I believe that this is absolutely absurd, for non-registration as a foreign agent I was given the same period as, for example, a person who traded classified information in the direction of the Chinese government,” she said.

Butina also discussed the harsh conditions of her detention at different US facilities.

“I have been kept in isolation for quite a long time. The first 35 days in the Washington prison, then with a break of two months 35 days in isolation here in the Alexandria prison, then another 38 days.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin called Butina’s sentence “a travesty of justice” on the part of the US administration.

“There’s nothing they can charge [Butina] with, so to avoid looking ridiculous, they decided to slap her with 18 months in prison,” said the Russian president.

The 29-year-old Russian graduate student entered the US in August 2016 on a student visa. She was arrested in July 2018 for conspiring against the US government and failing to register as a foreign agent.

05:06
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Russian gun activist Maria Butina spoke to reporters by phone in Moscow on Tuesday after she was sentenced to 18 months in prison in the US on Friday for failing to register as a foreign agent.

“I did not expect such a severe punishment. I believe that this is absolutely absurd, for non-registration as a foreign agent I was given the same period as, for example, a person who traded classified information in the direction of the Chinese government,” she said.

Butina also discussed the harsh conditions of her detention at different US facilities.

“I have been kept in isolation for quite a long time. The first 35 days in the Washington prison, then with a break of two months 35 days in isolation here in the Alexandria prison, then another 38 days.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin called Butina’s sentence “a travesty of justice” on the part of the US administration.

“There’s nothing they can charge [Butina] with, so to avoid looking ridiculous, they decided to slap her with 18 months in prison,” said the Russian president.

The 29-year-old Russian graduate student entered the US in August 2016 on a student visa. She was arrested in July 2018 for conspiring against the US government and failing to register as a foreign agent.

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