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After Son's Death, Deportation, A Mother Mourns In Tajikistan

A 5-month-old baby boy, named Umarali, died while being held with his parents in Russian custody last October in St. Petersburg, where they were accused of violating migration rules. Zarina Yunusova says that she was hastily deported in order to prevent a thorough investigation of Umarali's death. His father, Rustam Nazarov, has remained in Russia, awaiting results of an investigation. Russian officials initially said the child died in the hospital after suffering respiratory problems. The parents have challenged this, insisting the boy was healthy. RFE/RL photographer Petr Shelomovskiy visited Yunusova after her return to her hometown of Obigarm, Tajikistan.


Zarina Yunusova in the living room of her parents' house in the town of Obigarm in Tajikistan.
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Zarina Yunusova in the living room of her parents' house in the town of Obigarm in Tajikistan.

Zarina stares from the kitchen door as her brother returns from the barn.
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Zarina stares from the kitchen door as her brother returns from the barn.

Zarina Yunusova and her family in the living room of their house.
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Zarina Yunusova and her family in the living room of their house.

Zarina's mother washes grapes.
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Zarina's mother washes grapes.

Zarina's mother supervises one of her daughters, as she prepares a salad in their kitchen.
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Zarina's mother supervises one of her daughters, as she prepares a salad in their kitchen.

Zarina's mother cooks pilaf for their guests in her kitchen.
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Zarina's mother cooks pilaf for their guests in her kitchen.

Zarina's brother feeds cattle in the barn outside the family home.
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Zarina's brother feeds cattle in the barn outside the family home.

Zarina's mother fills up water in front of the house.
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Zarina's mother fills up water in front of the house.

A view of the mountains from Zarina's neighborhood in Obigarm.
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A view of the mountains from Zarina's neighborhood in Obigarm.

Nazar Boberov, the great-uncle of Umarali, and a relative have tea before visiting the child's grave in the village of Boboi Vali.
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Nazar Boberov, the great-uncle of Umarali, and a relative have tea before visiting the child's grave in the village of Boboi Vali.

Nazar Boberov visits the grave of his great-nephew Umarali Nazarov.
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Nazar Boberov visits the grave of his great-nephew Umarali Nazarov.

The grave of Umarali Nazarov
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The grave of Umarali Nazarov

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