Infant’s death remained uninvestigated

22.08.2017
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St. Petersburg city court has upheld an earlier court decision and refused to open a criminal investigation into the death of a 5-month-old Tajik baby Umarali Nazarov, who had died in a hospital where he had been sent from a local police department. Umarali had been previously brought to the police department along with his mother Zarina Yunusova, a Tajikistan citizen, and had been reportedly healthy. Back in October 2016 a criminal case on the infant’s death had been closed and the illegality of the actions of police and immigration service’s officers, who had taken the child away from his mother, had been never considered by court.

According to the lawyers of Zarina Yunusova, such a measure as taking the child away from his mother had not only been ungrounded, but also illegal. In violation of Russian legal procedures, an official report had been added to the legal case against Yunusova, which had reported on a supposedly “abandoned or lost child”, while the infant had been taken to the police together with his mother, and later the child’s grandmother brought with her Umarali’s birth certificate to the police station. Yunusova’s lawyers pointed to the contradictions in the materials of this case, which the court of first instance had not properly considered. According to the lawyers, Yunusova has stated that her child had been taken away by force, while law enforcement officials denied it.

While numerous violations have been committed since the law enforcement officers had detained Yunusova and her child, the subsequent considerations of the case by courts only continued to multiply inaccuracies and errors, which have adversely affected the fate of people involved. Thus, in the legal appeal considered by the St. Petersburg city court, the mother of the deceased child erroneously became Nazarova, not Yunusova. However, according to the lawyers, the main problem was that the court recognized withdrawal of an infant from his mother, who had been charged with “violation of the immigration regulations”, to be legitimate.

The lawyers of the Yunusova, who were supported by ADC “Memorial”, prepared a legal complaint on her behalf to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

More details on the case of Zarina Yunusova are available in an article published in “Kommersant” (in Russian).