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Moscow calls on US to treat jailed Russian pilot humanely — diplomat

June 17, 15:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The convicted Russian pilot does not recieve medical aid, a diplomat said
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Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko

Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko

© ITAR-TASS, archive

MOSCOW, June 17. /TASS/. Moscow does not understand why Washington does not treat Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko humanely while US authorities recently amnestied several dozens of people, Russian Foreign Ministry’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and Supremacy of Law Konstantin Dolgov told TASS on Friday.

"We are often promised that US authorities will deal with this. Then they told us that everything is being done and he (Yaroshenko) receives medical aid. This is not true," Dolgov said. "Medical aid was not received by Yaroshenko from US side in full measure, and this is a violation of US’ international commitments," he added.

This is another indicator of the real situation in US penitentiary system, he continued. "We continue working with US authorities to improve the situation with our citizen. In a broader sense, we will insist on Yaroshenko’s soonest return to Russia. All relevant mechanisms are well-known to US authorities - Council of Europe’s Convention (on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons) of 1983," he explained.

"(US President) Barack Obama has amnestied many convicts at the end of his presidential term, including those sentenced to life in prison for grave crimes. What hampers the US president from showing similar humanity toward the Russian citizen, especially considering Yarosheko’s serious health problems? Moreover, he was handed a politicized sentence, he was sentenced absolutely unfairly," Dolgov concluded.

Proper medical examination

Dolgov stresses Moscow insists on comprehensive medical examination of Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko with participation of Russian doctors.

"We continue insisting on conducting a comprehensive medical examination," Dolgov said. "This should be done at a hospital with participation of qualified doctors, including Russian-speaking," he added.

"This only increases concerns over the state of health of the Russian citizen as there are obvious problems that create a threat to his health and life," the diplomat continued. "The situation with Yaroshenko is absolutely unacceptable. We raised this issue, including at the high level. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov repeatedly raised the issue in talks with the US state secretary."

Dolgov also commented on reports that Yaroshenko lost all his teeth. "We reviewed this information in the media. Unfortunately, Konstantin’s mother confirmed that his last remaining teeth were removed. The situation raises serious concerns, it is necessary to received confirmation. Yaroshenko’s lawyer Tarasov is actively dealing with this right now, and Russian Embassy in Washington closely monitors the situation," he explained.

"From the medical point of view, I cannot say why US doctors did this but this confirms our very serious concern. US continues to disregard its commitments, our citizen does not receive qualified comprehensive medical assistance, everything was done snatchingly. Then he unexpectedly underwent a surgery that caused complications. Yaroshenko said this on the telephone himself," Dolgov noted.

Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko was detained by the Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in Liberia on June 2, 2010. He was charged with conspiracy for airlifting a batch of cocaine to Latin America, part of which was addressed to the United States. US investigators claimed that Yaroshenko had been involved in transporting cocaine to South America, Africa and Europe mostly from Liberia and Venezuela. Yaroshenko was sentenced to 20 years in prison on September 7, 2011.

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