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  Monday, January 27, 2020
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Arizona authorities may demand the extradition of a tuberculosis patient who fled to Russia
Arizona authorities may demand the extradition of a tuberculosis patient who fled to Russia, if he is found to have broken U.S. laws, a local official said on Wednesday. Robert Daniels fled the U.S. to Moscow on Sunday, after being held in a hospital jail ward in Phoenix, where he had been confined for endangering public health. The 27-year-old, who has dual U.S.-Russian citizenship, recently underwent lung surgery in Colorado, and doctors have ruled that he is no longer contagious. Aaron Douglas, public information officer for the Maricopa County Sheriff Office in Arizona, told RIA Novosti: "We are now trying to establish whether Daniels regularly violated the regime ordered by medics, and thus posed a threat of infection to the people around him." "If there are found to have been violations on the part of Daniels, we will send a request for his extradition," he said. Daniels, who has a wife and son in Russia, traveled to the U.S. last year for medical treatment after being diagnosed with a drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis. Police in Arizona accused him of knowingly disregarding doctors' orders while infected with TB, and walking around in public without his protective mask, putting others at risk. He was arrested in a shopping center, and in August 2006 was put in solitary confinement in the Maricopa Medical Center prison ward, on a court order. His treatment in the jail ward sparked criticism from rights bodies including the American Civil Liberties Union, which said he was treated like a criminal. Daniels was refused visitors, and had no radio, telephone, computer, TV, or shower. After arriving in Russia, Daniels told one of his lawyers that he had fled the U.S. because he "could not take the abuse," and felt threatened by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has pushed for his arrest. Daniels did not inform his U.S. lawyers before leaving the country. One of the lawyers told RIA Novosti: "He went through a lot here. He missed his wife and son, and in any event, his decision to leave the country is understandable."
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