Death of little Umarali Nazarov: case closed, questions remain

As it became known, on October 20, 2016 decision was adopted to dismiss the criminal case initiated last year following the death of 5-month old Umarali Nazarov. Investigators concluded that the “criminal event” in this case was “missing”.

From the outset of this case ADC “Memorial” supported the family of the deceased child and provided lawyers to them, while now we also strongly disagree with the assessment of the causes of death of this Tajik migrant child, which were provided by the investigators. The latter have finally concluded that there were “no factors, including “external conditions”, which had contributed to the death” and we consider this conclusion to be very doubtful.

The decision to close the case on the death of Umarali Nazarov, which had been formally initiated by the St. Petersburg division of the Russian Investigative Committee on the grounds of crime under Article 109 Section 2 of the Criminal Code (“causing death by negligence due to improper execution of professional duties”), was based on medical examination data, which had established that the child’s death had been caused by a viral infection. Conclusions of this examination were questioned by medical practitioners who believed that the virus could not have killed so quickly a child, who had been visibly healthy and active (as he was described by the doctor who had inspected Umarali at the time of his admission to the hospital, where he had been sent by the police following his mother’s detention during the anti-immigrant raid).

And it’s not only the diagnosis that is troublesome, but the circumstances that preceded the tragic death of a child, which the St.Petersburg Investigative Committee failed to qualify as “abuse of authority or excess of the actions of employees of the Federal Migration Service and the police”.

So, there really was no “abuse of authority” in breaking into the apartment, detention of the young mother to the police department with a baby, forcible taking away of the child from his mother, not allowing his grandmother to take him home when she came to police office with documents of her grandson, sending the child to hospital as a supposed “foundling” or informing his family the next morning that the child was dead?

A little person died, the one that supposedly did not require any medical treatment a few hours before his death, as had been reported by pediatricians, who had examined him. He died not in a ditch under the fence, not even in a prison cell, but in a children’s hospital. Nor did he die of some terrible incurable disease, such as cancer, but of a viral infection!

According to medical records of Umarali Nazarov at the hospital named after Tsymbalin, no treatment had been prescribed to him, but still investigators have concluded that “there were no disadvantages of health care, which would have influenced the course of the underlying disease and its outcome”. It was also supposedly found that “no defects in provision of medical care to the child were revealed”. So, for a whole year the investigators tried to reveal possible defects, but never succeeded in this and both the police officers and migration officials and the doctors acted in full compliance with their duties… In the end the baby died as a result of what the Investigative Committee termed “the exhaustion of the immune system, which contributed to the fatal outcome”.

The statement of the Investigative Committee revives the terrible tradition of formal responses made by the repressive authorities of the Soviet era with all of the statements like “died of exhaustion of the immune system”, “died of a viral infection”, “abuses not detected”, “the event of action, which could have caused the child’s death by negligence, not discovered”.

The case of Umarali Nazarov’s death is in fact a story of a chain of crimes, including separation of the infant from his family, sending him to the hospital against the will of his parents, the strange death at a medical institution of some “virus”, which nobody had tried to treat and which probably had never existed. And the last event in this criminal chain is the refusal to honestly investigate this death and the failure to prosecute those responsible for it.

Conspiracy of silence by the security forces kills children. This should be properly admitted and investigated!

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