Russia: St Petersburg court rejects appeal on death of five-month-old baby
The City Court of St Petersburg has rejected an appeal against the refusal of the investigators to start criminal proceedings against the officers of the Federal Migration Service (FMS) and the police involved in October 2015 in the separation of the five-month-old son in of Tajik citizen Zarina Yunusova. Baby Umarali Nazarov died less than a day later in the hospital, Kommersant reports on 15 August.
Umarali Nazarov and the photo of his grave. By RFE / RL
The criminal proceedings on the death of Umarali ended in October 2016 "due to the absence of an offence." The investigation concluded that the boy died as a result of complications from a viral infection, thus confirming the findings of forensic experts.
Umarali Nazarov passed away in the Medical Centre of Tsimbalin in St Petersburg on the night of 14 October 2015 after being taken away from the mother in the police station, who was detained for a violation of the migration law (overdue registration). In breach of the law, the child was registered as "abandoned or neglected" having a birth certificate, parents' passports and in the presence of parents and the grandmother.
According to the conclusion of doctors, the child died as a result of the development of cytomegalovirus infection (CMV). However, upon admission to the Medical Center, ten hours before his death, Umarali's condition was assessed as satisfactory, and he had no symptoms of the disease. Many doctors questioned the conclusion of the forensic examination which published later. Besides, a blood test taken from Zarina Yunusova in Tajikistan showed her lack of CMV.
The fact of the death of the child led to a criminal assessment under the article "causing death by negligence as a result of improper performance of the person's professional duties." Less than a month after Umarali's death, the St Petersburg court decided to deport Zarina from Russia closing the entry for her for five years. On the night of 16 November, the woman returned with the baby's body to Tajikistan for the funeral.
In the appeal, lawyers argued that Zarina Yunusova was not "detained" because she and her son were taken "in connection with the proceedings on the administrative violation case" and there was no need to separate them. Neither the Code of Administrative Offenses nor any other law prevents an infant child from being with his mother when drafting an administrative protocol and in court, as well as in an institution for deportation, where migrants are kept by the rules of the Ministry of Interior with their children.
In this case, according to lawyer Yuri Serov, "in the first instance, in justification of the lawfulness of the separation, they simply composed the fact that Zarina was detained: in fact she was not even brought to the police according to the documents."
The investigators and the court did not assess the fact that after receiving the birth certificate for Umarali, his mother was not provided with an interpreter and without taking her explanation, made up a "fake report" about the identification of an "abandoned or lost child".
However, the city court, supporting the actions of the investigation, confirmed the validity of the boy's separation from his mother by the fact that Zarina Yunusova "was illegally staying in Russia for a long time, she lived without registration in a room that was not residential, she did not have documents with her."
Lawyers Olga Tseitlina and Yuri Serov intend to complain to the European Court of Human Rights shortly.