"We have not been able to get in contact with Yarosheko since last week. I spoke with prison wardens, and they wanted to organize a call but for some reason that has not happened yet," Aleksei Tarasov said Monday. "It is surprising that we have not been able to have a phone call for so long. We will continue to try to organize either a phone call or a meeting this week."
Tarasov said the circumstances surrounding Yaroshenko’s placement in a solitary confinement last week were quite unusual.
"As far as I understand, Yaroshenko’s cellmate hit him with his fists. And after this attack was over, they decided to isolate Yaroshenko," the lawyer explained. "I was actually contacted by Yaroshenko’s cellmate, who told me that Yaroshenko was taken into solitary confinement although he did not do anything illegal."
Tarasov said he does not yet know how long Yaroshenko will spend in the solitary confinement. The attorney noted weak health condition of Yaroshenko.
"He suffers from a number of chronic diseases. Although there were some improvements, the consequences of torture are making themselves visible," he said. "Of course, his stay in solitary confinement where everything is made of concrete, will not contribute to his health improvement."
The Russian pilot was given 20 years in prison in 2011 on allegations of conspiring to import cocaine into the United States. Yaroshenko was captured in Liberia in 2010 and handed over to the United States, prompting protests from Russia. In April 2016, the Appeals Court of New York refused to revise the pilot's sentence.
In early April, the Russian embassy in the United States voiced concerns over the reports about the humiliation of Yaroshenko in a US prison, calling on the jail administration to stop violation of fundamental rights of the Russian citizen.