Friday, December 25, 2015

US Mistreating Russian Political Prisoner

US Mistreating Russian Political Prisoner

by Stephen Lendman

Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko is one of thousands of US political prisoners - wrongfully incarcerated despite no credible evidence of criminality.

He’s a victim of US anti-Russian hostility - lawlessly kidnapped in Monrovia, extrajudicially taken to New York, wrongfully accused of trying to bribe Liberian officials and cocaine smuggling, tried in a kangaroo proceeding, convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

At the time, Russia's Foreign Ministry called it “unacceptable that the Russian side had not received proper notification on the arrest of our fellow citizen as is prescribed by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the bilateral consular convention.”

Russia's New York Consul General, Andrey Yushmanov, added:

“We were also notified that the conditions in which our citizen was held were beyond all ethical norms and were unacceptable.”

He was horrifically mistreated in custody - beaten, denied food and water for two days, as well as forced to sign papers he didn’t understand, indicating crimes he didn’t commit. His lawyer calls him entirely innocent of bogus charges.

His health is poor, horrific prison conditions exacerbating it. Moscow expressed concern, demanding US prison authorities provide proper treatment he needs - Russian Foreign Ministry human rights representative Konstantin Dolgov saying last month:

“We have addressed the US Embassy in Moscow in connection with the news Yaroshenko’s state of health has deteriorated in Fort Dix prison in the United States.” 

“We emphasized that the fact that the prison administration was preventing medical tests for Yaroshenko was unacceptable. We will continue to press for medical tests and complex treatment” he needs.

Russia maintains his abduction, extradition, mistreatment and imprisonment on baseless charges violates the Council of Europe’s 1983 Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons.

He’s one among various other examples of how contemptuously America treats Russians they arrest on phony charges - ignoring rule of law principles along with fundamental human rights.

Moscow earlier warned its citizens to avoid visiting America or nations having bilateral extradition agreements if they’re concerned about Washington possibly issuing charges against them. 

Outside their homeland or in nations without extradition agreements with America, they’re vulnerable to false arrests and incarceration in a US prison, facing horrific mistreatment with no chance for justice.

In October, US prison authorities denied Yaroshenko badly needed urological surgery in violation of their international obligations and fundamental human decency, entirely absent in America. 

After reporting severe heart pains last year, Yaroshenko was only granted a cursory medical exam, no treatment, despite numerous requests from his lawyer and Russian diplomats - entirely ignored.

He suffers in pain from various ailments. Last month, Sergey Lavrov said Washington failed to respond to Russia’s request to intervene responsibly for him, affording him the medical treatment he needs.

On Christmas day, Tass highlighted his case, stressing lack of care for serious illnesses demanding attention.

His lawyer, Alexei Tarasov, said he wrote to the ICRC, asking for help he’s denied in prison. He requested Russian, Red Cross or independent doctors examine him in prison.

“Konstantin’s health arouses concerns. He has been taking painkillers over the past four or five months which he has been forced by buy himself in a shop,” said Tarasov.

He has no other way to get them, and he’s fast running out of medication. His health is deteriorating from longterm illnesses, including heart disease.

“We have not received an answer from the US authorities and Washington up until now to our tough representation made to the US embassy over the inadmissibility of the situation developing around Konstantin Yaroshenko,” Russian Foreign Ministry human rights representative Dolgov explained.

A Final Comment

In February, the US 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals disgracefully spurned Yaroshenko’s appeal of his fraudulent conviction and imprisonment, denying him the right to a new trial.

He was abducted illegally in May 2010, sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in September 2011. His poor health and mistreatment may deny him the right one day to be free again.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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