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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pilot Appeal to UN

MOSCOW -- Activists have appealed to the United Nations Human Rights Commission to look into the case of four Russian citizens sentenced to life imprisonment in India for arms smuggling, Itar-Tass reported Monday.

The four were among five crewmen of a Latvian plane who were sentenced this month after a judge ruled that they parachuted crates of weapons intended for revolutionaries into eastern India five years ago. They are members of Latvia's large ethnic Russian minority and were granted Russian citizenship last year.

The UN commission is expected to take up the case at a meeting March 18 in Geneva, Itar-Tass quoted Grigory Kovrizhenko, deputy chairman of the nongovernmental UN Association of Russia, as saying.

Karina Mokalenko, of the activist group Center for International Defense, said the documents include complaints that the men were held in inhumane conditions for four years before trial and that perjury proceedings were instituted against some witnesses in the trial, the report said.