In Namangan, Uzbekistan, a new mother threw her daughter out of a maternity hospital window after doctors informed her that the child might be disabled. To make matters even worse, she also threw a second child out the window to cover up her crime. Both babies survived the fall yet died later from their injuries in intensive care.
The 23-year-old woman’s two previous children had reportedly died of natural causes after being born with severe disabilities. The incident occurred at night while the hospital workers were sleeping, therefore, it took staff nearly an hour to realize the children were missing and had been thrown 16 feet to the ground.
When they were finally found, the two baby girls were still alive but severely injured from the fall and perished soon afterwards in the intensive care unit. The woman, who has been named only as D.Kh, could face 15 to 25 years in jail for murder under Uzbekistan's laws. A police source confirmed that the woman had given birth twice before to disabled children and both had allegedly died from natural causes.
"This time she was told by maternity hospital doctors that her newborn daughter was unlikely to be healthy," said the source. "It made her think that no-one would ever love or need this baby and pushed her to commit this awful crime."
The mother was reportedly told the child was bowlegged, a condition that could have been corrected. Doctors did not share any additional details regarding the baby's condition. The mother of the other child, who was reportedly healthy, is a 22-year-old named M.T. It is likely that D.Kh will be charged with murder but police may also bring charges against hospital staff who were “asleep” at the time. They could face up to eight years in jail for medical negligence.
Uzbekistan, a landlocked country in Central Asia, is a secular, constitutional republic, though human rights organizations, such as IHF, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, as well as United States Department of State and Council of the European Union, define Uzbekistan as "an authoritarian state with limited civil rights." The government of Uzbekistan has been accused of unlawful termination of human life and of denying its citizens freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.
Life expectancy in Uzbekistan is 66 years among men and 72 years among women. In 2010, the maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births was 30. The under 5 mortality rate per 1,000 births was 38 and the neonatal mortality as a percentage of under 5's mortality was 48, while the lifetime risk of death for pregnant women was 1 in 1400.