DUSAHNBE, May 5, Asia-Plus -- The Ismoili Somoni district court sentenced two nurses working with the “Chorbogh” orphanage, Zarnigor Jamshedova and Ganjina Ustoqadamova, to five years in prison each.  Zuhur Chorshanbiyev, representing the nurses, has denounced the court’s ruling and vows to appeal to the Dushanbe city court.  

            “During the trial I have repeatedly noted that my clients did not have enough experience in nursing children with disabilities,” said Mr. Chorshanbiyev, “Jamshedova and Ustoqadamova worked with the orphanage only for a month and they had to be instructed in how to look after such children.”  “Besides, my clients were not responsible for fire-prevention measures,” the lawyer said.

Chorshanbiyev stressed that the nurses had been working at the dormitory for children, who could not move by themselves, while skilled employees had worked with children having slighter disabilities.    “Besides, by the day when the fire broke in the orphanage out the nurses had been on duty already the second twenty-four-hour period while by law the nurses should work in shifts not more than twenty-four hours,” said the lawyer, “Therefore staying in the dormitory Ustoqadamova fell asleep and this is explainable because she did not sleep more than twenty-four hours.”

            “When the fire broke out, she managed to pull one children from the burning building before the firefighters arrived in the site of the fire,” Chorshanbiyev said.  

According to the lawyer, the preliminary appeal will be ready already today.  

As it had been reported earlier, a blaze broke out at the “Chorbogh” orphanage for children with intellectual disabilities in Dushanbe early on January 8, killing at least 13 children and injuring at least two others.  77 children were rescued, with one survivor with second-degree burns hospitalized in a burn-treatment facility.