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Russian Investigation Into Tajik Baby's Death Finds Doctors Innocent

Russian Investigative Committee

The Russian Investigative Committee has found that the death of a Tajik baby — who had been separated from his parents by migration authorities — was not caused by the St. Petersburg clinic doctors, the TASS news agency reported Wednesday.

The case garnered significant attention in the Russian media last fall, when 5-month-old Umarali Nazarov died during a several hours-long separation from his parents, who were detained for violating migration rules. A St. Petersburg city court ruled that the baby's death was insufficient grounds to delay his mother's deportation, and she was flown back to Tajikistan, together with her son's dead body.

The Investigative Committee's verdict at the moment is that the doctors of the clinic where the boy was placed were not to blame for his death, the St. Petersburg children's rights ombudswoman Svetlana Agapitova was quoted by TASS as saying.

Investigators still have some “questions about work protocol” for police officers who detained the migrant woman and seized her baby, and for the Federal Migration Service, Agapitova said, TASS reported.

Prosecutors and the Investigative Committee are also looking into a criminal case that has been brought against the Tajik couple, on charges of neglecting parental duties, she was quoted as saying.

Forensic experts attributed the boy's death to “cytomegalovirus infection,” or CMV — a virus related to herpes — the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported last November.

The Russian Foreign Ministry promised a thorough investigation and said its officials remained in “constant contact with all agencies drawn into this tragedy,” ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was quoted as saying by the government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

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