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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

IHF: Release Sutyagin

VIENNA, Austria -- A leading international human rights group on Wednesday urged the head of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, to release an academic detained without trial for almost nine months on spying charges.

The Vienna-based International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights said Igor Sutyagin, an arms control expert at the USA and Canada Institute, had been held in isolation for allegedly passing state secrets to foreigners.

The IHF said Sutyagin had no access to such material and all his work with foreign academics was carried out in the open.

"There is very little that seems to suggest any wrongdoing, let alone the very serious crime of high treason," IHF president Ludmilla Alexeyeva and IHF executive director Aaron Rhodes wrote to FSB Director Nikolai Patrushev.