Russian Ambassador Asks Rights Groups to Help Russian National Yaroshenko Jailed in US

Konstantin Yaroshenko. (Sputnik File)

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian Ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, has asked prominent international human rights groups to help settle medical and legal issues facing Russian national Konstantin Yaroshenko, who is serving a 20-year term in a US prison.

“Your organisations are well-known for [their] noble mission to defend and preserve human rights. We urge you to review Mr Yaroshenko’s case and provide any assistance for his medical and legal issues”, Antonov said in an open letter to Amnesty International, Equal Justice Initiative, Human Rights Watch, The Marshall Project, ACLU National Prison Project, The Sentencing Project, Southern Poverty Law Center, and World Justice Project.

Antonov characterised Yaroshenko’s case as “clear entrapment” involving undercover agents who attempted to solicit Yaroshenko to transport drugs to the United States.

The ambassador recalled that Yaroshenko has faced numerous health problems and has been unable to enroll in educational or rehabilitation programmes due to the language barrier.

Antonov noted that Yaroshenko has requested that he be transferred to Russia to serve out his remaining prison term three times in line with the international Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. His applications have been rejected.

Antonov’s letter was published on the Russian Embassy’s Facebook page late on Thursday.

Yaroshenko was captured in Liberia in 2010 and sentenced to 20 years in jail the following year in the United States on charges of conspiring to import drugs, which he denied.

The Russian national has repeatedly complained about the lack of medical aid to support his deteriorating health and about abuse by prison personnel.

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