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Moscow urges US to let doctors examine jailed pilot Yaroshenko

July 31, 2014, 23:01 UTC+3 MOSCOW
U.S. authorities had refused to let Yaroshenko be examined outside the prison where he is serving his term now, a Foreign Ministry top official said
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MOSCOW, July 31, 22:52 /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow urged the U.S. authorities to let Russian doctors examine jailed pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who has been sentenced to a long prison term in the United States, a Foreign Ministry top official said on Thursday.

“We have sent a new note to the U.S. State Department. We will press for his medical examination so that the doctors could assess his real condition and prescribe treatment,” the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law Konstantin Dolgov said.

He said the U.S. authorities had refused to let Yaroshenko be examined outside the prison where he is serving his term now.

“The situation becomes increasingly acute and intolerable in terms of ensuring the rights of our citizen. We are urging the U.S. to take practical steps to provide proper medical assistance in accordance with international standards,” the diplomat said.

He said his Office had received Yaroshenko’s appeal, in which he confirmed that he had persistent health problems including dental ones.

“The prison doctors did not respond to the Russian citizen’s numerous appeals. They extracted several of his teeth without his consent. The prison administration then denied him bridgework citing a lack of funding as the reason,” Dolgov said. “As a result, the Russian citizen started experiencing serious chewing and eating problems. This is a gross violation by the American authorities of their obligations regarding the life and health of our citizen.”

Moscow has repeatedly urged the U.S. authorities to provide medical care to Yaroshenko and allow him to be examined by Russian doctors.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, the Russian Embassy in Washington and the Consulate General in New York have been consistently pressing the U.S. authorities for providing adequate medical care to Yaroshenko who has several severe health problems. Despite the examination conducted by the prison doctors after repeated requests from Russia, our fellow citizen did not receive proper medical attention. Moreover, his health, ruined by the tortures and humiliating treatment during detention in Liberia by U.S. security service agents, is continuing to deteriorate,” Dolgov said earlier.

“Russia demands that Yaroshenko be provided with professional medical care and insists that he undergo an objective examination with the participation of Russian doctors,” he said. “According to his lawyer, Alexei Tarasov, the prison administration and the relevant American agencies have denied him that and ignored his requests for even basic, including dental, care.”

“We hope that the American side will show common sense and remedy the intolerable situation, taking into account its own promises given in particular by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and will investigate this case thoroughly,” Dolgov said.

“We have received Yaroshenko’s letter addressed to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, which indicates that the Russian citizen is not getting proper medical care in connection with the serious ailments he had acquired as a result of tortures during the arrest in Liberia and the treatment in American penitentiary institutions which does not correspond to international standards,” the protest said.

Dolgov said Yaroshenko had been denied surgery despite American doctors’ recommendations. “The prison administration denies [it] and does not let Russian doctors in. The unenforceable conditions they have come up with remain,” the diplomat said.

“The situation is extremely bad. We have raised this issue with the American authorities and highlighted it,” Dolgov said, adding that he would continue monitoring the situation.

The American authorities’ treatment of Yaroshenko can only be regarded as “disrespectful and inhuman”, Dolgov said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry urged the American authorities to “stop the lawlessness against Yaroshenko” and expressed hope that “as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has repeatedly promised to the foreign minister of Russia, necessary measures will be taken after all to rectify the situation”.

“We will continue to use all available political, diplomatic and legal methods, including the Convention of the Council of Europe of 1983 on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, in order to ensure the return home of the Russian citizen who has fallen victim to an act of outrage,” the ministry said.

In September 2011, a U.S court sentenced Yaroshenko to 20 years in prison for having been allegedly involved in a criminal ring organised for smuggling a large shipment of cocaine. He was detained by the U.S. authorities in Liberia and then taken to the United States. Moscow believes that these charges are doubtful.

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