Sunday, 17, February, 2019

Illegal induced abortions were perfromed in Sam Suzani Plus private clinic in Samarkand city, where newborns were sold and the bodies of the weak and dead babies were burned. The details of the high-profile case were reported by the Huquq (transl. Law) newspaper of the General Prosecutor's Office of Uzbekistan.

In February, the Samarkand Regional Criminal Court sentenced the chief doctor of the clinic, Nigora Salikhanova to 13 years of imprisonment, the gynecologist D. Nadjimova to 12 years and 6 months. Other members of the criminal group were also sentenced.

D. Nadjimova, who worked in the maternity complex of Samarkand, was the primary contact person for women, who wanted to get rid of unwanted pregnancy, but who were not recommended to have abortion due to medical reasons. After agreeing the amount, Nadjimova placed them in Salikhanova’s clinic. Pregnancy was interrupted by various ways, and the money received was distributed among the members of the group.

Another member of the group, E. Salikhanova searched for people who wanted to adopt children. Infants who survived abortion were made false documents and were sold to new parents. The others, for whom there was no buyer or who were too weak were left without care. The remains of newborns were found in a muffle furnace intended for disposal of medical waste, the report said.

The newspaper cites several cases of selling children. In February 2014 N. Salikhanova sold a newborn boy for US$ 2,500.

In May, the criminal group promised to find a newborn girl for one family. The pregnancy of one of the patients was artificially interrupted, the child was sold for US$ 500 and 200 thousand soums.

In June 2016, the clinic promised to find a baby boy for US$ 1,000. A child born through induced abortion was sold for US$ 800. The investigation established several more cases of sale of newborn children.

The clinic ignored the medical norms of artificial termination of pregnancy. In March 2017 a woman was sent to the Samarkand maternity complex at the 28-29th week of pregnancy. D. Nadjimova promised to perform a safe abortion for 1.5 million soums. After placement in the clinic, the patient was prescribed drugs for abortion, resulting in miscarriage. The child was born dead. A forensic medical examination, appointed by the court, found that the male child died due to hypoxia in the womb and birth injuries.

In the same month, a woman underwent similar procedures at the 27-28th week of pregnancy. The clinic received US$ 500 for an abortion. A healthy baby girl was intentionally left unfed as there was no buyer. The newspaper cited several cases of such murders.

On the instruction of N. Salikhova, the remains of babies were sent to the maternity complex, where D. Nadjimova worked. She burned them in the muffle furnace.

At the trial, the witness, who worked as a cleaner in the Sam Suzani Plus clinic since 2016, told: "We (with another cleaner - ed.), basically did the cleaning after delivery, we fed and monitored the condition of patients. We would wrap the dead newborns in a sheet and put them in the freezer room #18. Newborns, who were alive but were too weak, were sent there as well. If we saw that a child could survive, we would place them in a warmer room, with a stove. I did not know what happened later with the infants.

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