Russian Foreign Ministry demands US stop humiliating jailed pilot Yaroshenko

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MOSCOW, March 15. /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry demands the US authorities should stop humiliating jailed air pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who is serving a prison term in Danbury, Connecticut, and let him return to Russia, the Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Thursday.

“We believe that the way Konstantin Yaroshenko is treated is crude violation of international legal humanitarian norms and urge the US authorities to take urgent action to ensure the observance of his legal rights,” Zakharova said.

She pointed out that Yaroshenko was denied the required medical assistance and kept in conditions that were deteriorating his health.

“In defiance of repeated attempts to make the US authorities provide qualified medical assistance the Russian national continues to be denied it. The harsh conditions in the Connecticut prison where he was transferred in June 2018 make the situation still worse,” Zakharova said.

She recalled that the US authorities had violated Yaroshenko’s human rights for many years.

“First, he was abducted from a different country and brutally beaten up. Then he was convicted on very doubtful grounds and now he continues to be victimized in jail and denied medical treatment. It has continued like this for the past nine years,” she said.

A US court sentenced Yaroshenko to 20 years in prison on September 7, 2011. In an undercover operation the US Drug Enforcement Administration had allegedly exposed his criminal intention to transport a large consignment of cocaine. Yaroshenko pled not guilty and slammed his arrest and conviction as a provocation and frame-up.

Russian officials and the pilot’s family resident in Rostov-on-Don have repeatedly asked the US authorities for his release. In August 2018, Yaroshenko’s wife and daughter were allowed to meet him for the first time in seven years.

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