Funeral director: Zubeidat Tsarnaeva asks that son Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body be sent back to Russia
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Tamerlan Tsarnaev's mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, has called the director of a Worcester, Mass., funeral home where Tsarnaev's body awaits burial -- and asked he do what he can to get the body back to Russia, the director said Monday.
Peter Stefan, of Graham Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlor, said Tsarnaeva was crying as she made the request.
"She's still his mother," Stefan said.
Tsarnaev's uncle, as well as a Muslim religious leader and two other of the uncle's friends, have cleansed and wrapped Tsarnaev's body in accordance with Islamic law, Stefan said. It is ready for burial, but no cemeteries have agreed to take it, Stefan said.
He said he has a refrigeration system at the funeral home that allows for the continued preservation of the body.
Stefan also said he would pay to ship the body to another country if the U.S. State Department assures him it will be handled respectfully and buried properly.
"This has turned political," he said.
Stefan said he might ask for help from Secretary of State John Kerry in trying to arrange for the body to be flown to Russia and buried.
William Breault, who heads a local public safety group in Worcester, announced he is trying to raise up to $7,000 to have the body flown to Russia or another foreign country.
"Tamerlan Tsarnaev is not a citizen of the United States and does not have to be treated as such," Breault said.
Protests continued outside the funeral home, with one protester, James Hines, chanting "Throw him in the ocean with bin Laden!"