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Uzbek Migrant Appeals To President After Brother's Tragic Death 

Bokhodir Akhmedov issued his appeal to Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev with his brother's corpse in the car.
Bokhodir Akhmedov issued his appeal to Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev with his brother's corpse in the car.

An Uzbek migrant worker in Moscow has asked Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev to help out families living abroad who have lost a loved one.

Bokhodir Akhmedov issued the appeal in video shot while he drove his deceased brother in a makeshift coffin to Moscow's Vnukovo Airport.

"Our people come to Moscow not by choice but by the need to make money. They don't have wads of money," Akhmedov says in the video published by Current Time.

Between 2 and 3 million of Uzbekistan's more than 33 million people work abroad, mostly in Russia, to provide for their families back home.

In the video, Akhmedov said his 32-year-old brother had traveled often to Moscow over the years to work. On January 5, he said, his brother Otabek was sent out to clear snow from the roof of a three-story building.

His brother, however, slipped on the roof and fell to the ground where he died.


The 40-year-old Akhmedov said it would have cost him money he does not have to transport the body of his brother from Russia to Uzbekistan.

He said he contacted Uzbekistan's national airline and the Uzbek Embassy in Moscow for help but got none.

Uzbekistan Airways, Akhmedov said, insisted he would have to pay 18,000 rubles ($270), the standard rate to transport a corpse, which is described as "cargo-200."

If he wanted a discount, Akhmedov was told to contact the airline's headquarters in Tashkent.

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev (file photo)
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev (file photo)

At the Uzbek Embassy in Moscow, Akhmedov said, a staff member coldly asked "What do you need?"

Explaining he needed help to send home to Ferghana in Uzbekistan his brother's corpse, the staffer said, according to Akhmedov, "We don't help anyone," before handing him a business card for a funeral service business.

"I told him I had already reached out to such services, but they are too expensive," Akhmedov said in the video.

"He said: 'Who will help you for free? No one does anything for free.'" Akhmedov recounted.

Eventually, Akhmedov did find help.

"Thankfully, the people at the company where my brother worked helped. They collected the money, and now I'm heading to Vnukovo Airport," Akhmedov said in the video.

Akhmedov then issued his plea to the Uzbek leader:

"If people find themselves in such a situation, at least help them out," he said. "Make the transport of cargo-200 free."

Written by RFE/RL correspondent Tony Wesolowsky based on reporting by Current Time.

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