One year in solitary - TB sufferer's nightmare

A Russian-American citizen who went to America to treat his virulent tuberculosis has had to return to Russia to avoid jail. Robert Daniels spent a year in prison after endangering others with his illness, and authorities say that he is still a risk to pu

Robert Daniels is now free but he is still traumatised by the events of the past 18 months.

“It was just so horrible, I've just been thinking about killing myself,” he said.

When he contracted TB in Moscow, he thought he'd get the best treatment in America.

Born to an American father and a Russian mother, he has dual citizenship. He travelled to Arizona and immediately told the authorities about his condition. But that was only the start of his troubles.

He had XDR-TB a highly virulent and drug resistant form of the disease and was made to wear a special mask. He says he ignored these orders just once, during a trip to the supermarket. The consequences though were disastrous.

He was immediately arrested for recklessly exposing others to his illness, and placed in solitary confinement.

According to the documents provided by his lawyers, Robert Daniels was allegedly subjected to more than 20 different forms of inhumane treatment.

He was only allowed to go outside once, his lights were kept on 24 hours a day, he wasn't allowed a TV, or a phone to call his family, and he wasn't even allowed to take showers. As a result he has suffered psychological deterioration, severe mood swings and post traumatic stress disorder.

He has the same rights as any other citizen of the U.S. He is a U.S. citizen, he is not contagious,

Burt Rosenblatt,
Robert Daniels' lawyer

Robert Daniels says that he was not against being isolated for his treatment, but does not believe the extra measures were necessary.

“I think that locking people up is too extreme. We don't do this to people these days. We don't lock people up unless they commit a crime,” he said.

Eventually, under pressure from the media and his lawyers, Mr Daniels was transferred to a hospital.

This summer one of his lungs was removed and now he says he is no longer ill.

But not according to the Arizona authorities. They have prescribed a course of medicine, which Mr Daniels claims causes severe side effects and which he does not need. By refusing to take it, he is once again breaking the law.

He has fled to Moscow to avoid further prosecution.

But he has not abandoned hopes of once again living in the U.S.

“He has the same rights as any other citizen of the U.S. He is a U.S. citizen, he is not contagious,” Burt Rosenblatt, Robert Daniels' lawyer, said.

Robert Daniels is renting a small apartment with his wife and young child. He does not have a job,and still suffers from the severe after-effects of his treatment.

While he feels remorse over his actions, he feels the treatment he received was out of proportion to the danger he posed to the public.