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Russian pilot jailed in US needs urgent medical help — human rights commissioner

Yaroshenko was sentenced to 20 years behind bars in the US

MOSCOW, August 21. /TASS/. Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who was convicted in the US, is in critical condition and needs urgent medical help, Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova said at Tuesday’s press conference in Moscow.

"His [Yaroshenko’s] wife, who visited me, [said], and he [Yaroshenko] wrote about it in his address to me, that he is in critical condition. He is not receiving dental treatment. His teeth were knocked out during the detention," Moskalkova said.

"He is in a difficult situation and needs urgent medical help," the human rights commissioner stressed.

Yaroshenko was sentenced to 20 years behind bars in the US on September 7, 2011. He pled not guilty and believes that his arrest was a setup, and that his case was fabricated. The pilot was whisked off to the US from Liberia, where he had been arrested on May 28, 2010. US undercover agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration allegedly found Yaroshenko guilty of intending to smuggle a large batch of cocaine.

Until recently, Yaroshenko had been kept in the Federal Correctional Institution (Fort Dix), including one month spent in a solitary confinement cell. In mid-June, he was first transferred to a transit prison in the New York City borough of Brooklyn and then to a correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, which can hold more than 1,400 prisoners.

The Russian government’s official representatives and the pilot’s family repeatedly addressed the US, asking to extradite Yaroshenko to Russia.