Volha Stsepanava’s sentence for child death reversed

Vitsebsk Regional Court has heard the appeal in the case of the child death during home birth. The judges reversed the verdict in the criminal case against the 31-year-old Volha Stsepanava who was accused of causing death by negligence.

The trial was held behind closed doors without the presence of the accused.

Ms Stsepanava remains under house arrest.


The tragic incident occurred in February 2017. Volha Stsepanava came to Vitebsk from St. Petersburg to her mother’s place to have a baby. She refused to be hospitalized, as she gave birth to her first daughter at home, too. The second girl had trouble breathing, having swallowed amniotic fluid. Ambulance doctors and doctors at the hospital could not save the child.

On September 7th, Volha was sentenced to six months in a penal colony, but the sentence was changed to travel restriction with proper behavior.

The case against Volha was initiated not because the birth was held at home, but because the child died.

Volha Stsepanava did not plead guilty and blamed doctors for the death of the child. She claimed they had not provided the necessary assistance through negligence.


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