Pavel Butorin, the husband of Alsu Kurmasheva, who is still behind bars, believes that she should be declared an „unlawfully detained person” by the United States as her husband considers her to be a political prisoner. This statement was made after the Russian security forces arrested Kurmasheva, a dual American-Russian citizen working for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) in their Prague office, on October 18. She could face up to five years in prison for allegedly failing to register as a foreign agent. Butorin stated that the local authorities have not yet provided his wife with consular access, which violates her rights. He also expressed gratitude for the support received so far and emphasized the significance of the US government and the State Department designating his wife as an unlawfully detained person, as he believes this would expedite her release. Butorin expressed his desire to have his wife back and highlighted the importance of her presence for their children and himself. Kurmasheva, a veteran journalist who has worked for RFE/RL’s Tatar-Bashkir Service for about twenty-five years, traveled to the Republic of Tatarstan, her homeland in Russia, in mid-May due to a family emergency. She was temporarily detained on June 2 while waiting for her flight to Prague at Kazan Airport. Both her passports and her phone were confiscated, and she has not been allowed to leave Russia since. Five months after the incident, she was fined ten thousand rubles for failing to register her American passport with Russian authorities. While waiting for the return of her passports, it was announced on October 18 that she faced additional charges for not registering as a foreign agent. Russia has been using the so-called „foreign agent” law since 2012 to stigmatize and punish individuals and organizations that criticize the government’s policies. The law allows nonprofit organizations engaged in political activities and receiving foreign funding to be labeled as foreign agents. Kurmasheva has not been able to contact her family since her arrest. Butorin criticized the allegations made against Kurmasheva, which he considered absurd, and argued that there has never been an expectation for individuals to register individually with the Russian Foreign Ministry, as this was something that the ministry had not required of several of his colleagues at Radio Free Europe. Kurmasheva is the second American journalist to be arrested in Russia this year, following the detention of Evan Gershkovich, a journalist working for The Wall Street Journal, on charges of espionage in March. According to the accusations, Russia uses the imprisonment of American citizens as bargaining chips to secure the release of imprisoned Russians from the United States. Butorin emphasized the difficulty for their American child to comprehend why their mother is being held in a cold prison cell for her work as a journalist when they are raised to appreciate personal freedom, freedom of speech, and freedom of expression. Jeffrey Gedmin, the CEO of RFE/RL, rejected the charges against Kurmasheva and emphasized that she is being persecuted due to her professional work. Amnesty International, the United Nations Human Rights Office, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee have all called for Kurmasheva’s immediate release. Matt Miller, the spokesperson for the US Department of State, described this case as another instance of the Russian government harassing American citizens. According to Radio Free Europe, the law represents political censorship and aims to hinder journalists from fulfilling their professional duties. The Russian Ministry of Justice has designated several employees of RFE/RL as foreign agents in their personal capacity. In March, a Moscow court issued a bankruptcy ruling related to RFE/RL’s activities in Russia after the company refused to pay a fine totaling over one billion rubles (3.8 billion forints) for non-compliance with the law.