18:04 GMT22 October 2020
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    Director of the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights Aleskander Brod has urged new US Ambassador to Russia John Huntsman to request a legal assessment of Russian citizen Konstantin Yaroshenko’s imprisonment conditions in the United States on Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The letter has been already sent by Brod, who is a member of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, to the US diplomat.

    “Russian citizen Konstantin Yaroshenko has been convicted in your country. Without touching upon the content of the indictment, I want to raise the problem of conditions of his imprisonment,” the letter, obtained by Sputnik, read.

    Brod stressed that Yaroshenko has repeatedly told his legal team about the unacceptable conditions in jail as the authorities do not provide him necessary medical assistance, while the pilot is also not able to eat prison food having lost his teeth.

    “The US Declaration of Independence says that ‘all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’ In the example of Konstantin Yaroshenko’s case, I want to make sure that these are not just beautiful words. I ask you to call on the US authorities to give an objective legal assessment of the conditions of K. Yaroshenko’s imprisonment,” the Russian human rights official noted in the letter.

    Yaroshenko was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2011 on allegations of conspiring to import more than $100 million worth of cocaine into the United States. The pilot was captured in Liberia in 2010 and transferred to the United States, prompting protests from Russia. In April 2016, the Appeals Court of New York denied revising the pilot's sentence.

    The Russian pilot first complained of health problems in early 2014, but the administration of New Jersey’s Fort Dix prison allowed for a health check only after numerous requests by his lawyers and Russian authorities. In January 2016, Yaroshenko underwent an unscheduled surgery. According to his lawyers, the pilot received no warning. Afterward, he could barely walk because of pain and a US doctor later said the surgery was botched.


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