Appeal Over Yukos Executive's Health

Rights group Amnesty International on Friday urged Russia to provide proper treatment for a jailed Yukos executive who has AIDS and says he could die if he is not moved to a specialized hospital.

Russia has snubbed three requests from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to move Vasily Aleksanyan, 36, out of his Moscow jail.

Rights campaigners have called Aleksanyan a political prisoner because he is a former vice president of Yukos, whose bosses were jailed after they fell out of favor with the Kremlin.

"Amnesty International is urging the Russian authorities to transfer ... Aleksanyan to a specialized hospital for HIV/AIDS patients where his illness can be treated adequately," the group said in a statement.

It also called on Russia to comply with the European court's requests and to delay Aleksanyan's trial, on charges of fraud and tax evasion, until he is healthy enough to defend himself.