Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

In Kyrgyzstan, almost two thirds of all marriages are the result of ala kachuu (“grab and run”), or abduction of the bride. About 15 thousand women a year become victims of abductions of their future husbands. Although this tradition is considered illegal since 1994, it is still widely practiced, and the authorities often turn a blind eye to it. Of course, some abductions are staged, but it is known that most of them occur against the will of the bride herself. Moreover, the fiancés of their chosen ones are beaten, raped and forced into slave labor.

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Mairamgul, a 19-year-old resident of the Kyrgyz village of Aksy, whose parents asked her name not to be mentioned in the media, only recently recovered from a broken leg and mental shock. The girl was injured when she tried to escape from three drunken men who were chasing her down a rural street by car, says Kyrgyz human rights activist Ilya Lukash.

Having driven the victim into a corner between the houses, the driver knocked her down, after which Mairamgul was dragged into a car and taken to the house of her future husband, whom she saw for the first time.That same night, the girl escaped through a window and, having passed about 10 km with a fracture, returned home.

“Such pictures, reminiscent of the Middle Ages, are common for modern Kyrgyzstan,” states Lukash. “The tradition of bride abduction, preserved by many nations only as a comic wedding ritual, in this country has turned into cruel and criminal fun.”

“For example, you go in a minibus - I saw a pretty girl,” he says. - You call your friends: “I looked at such a girl, I want to steal her”. When a lady gets off the bus, they grab her in public, and no one reacts. ”

At the same time, as in the famous Soviet comedy “The Caucasian Captive”, the girl does not want to be kidnapped at all.

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Here is a 20-year-old Farida fighting Tykhchykbek, who dragged her and her friend into a car in order to abduct her and force her family to pass her off as his. “I will marry you. Just let me go now, ”she shouts.

The girls were dragged into the car and taken to show the bride to Tykhchykbek’s parents. In the same way, most abductions of young women in Kyrgyzstan occur. 80% of male prisoners are forced to marry them, and only a few manage to escape from captivity.According to the Open Line Kyrgyz human rights organization, the attackers steal a fifth of the brides just for fun.

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But 18-year-old Aytilek in a white headscarf. This is a symbol of the fact that she succumbed to the desire of her captor to become his wife. A man kidnapped her the day after they met in Bishkek. Although bride abduction is considered illegal, it is still quite common in rural parts of Kyrgyzstan.

Unlike movies, real stories do not end with a happy ending: the victims of custom often become concubines and free labor in the house of the kidnapper. Reigning poverty in the country only contributes to the spread of the wild rite.

According to the research of the Ombudsman’s Institute of Kyrgyzstan, every year about 8,000 girls are abducted in the country, and most of them are subjected to violence and beatings. 80% of their prisoners are forced to marry men, and 20% manage to escape from captivity.

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These are 18-year-old Aytilek and her husband Baktyaf, who kidnapped her the day after they met in Bishkek.

At the same time, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kyrgyzstan, over the past 12 years, the police have recorded only 159 facts of abduction of girls, and, according to police statistics, only one of 700 cases is under investigation.

Scanty statistics are easily explained: the majority of victims and their parents perceive the wild antics as a folk tradition, not a crime, and do not rush to contact law enforcement agencies.

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18-year-old Bahtygul, a resident of the Chui region, who asked not to give her last name in the press, first saw her fiance when she was brought to his house. Preliminarily, Bakhtygul was grabbed on the street and dragged while holding hands and feet.

According to her, the “betrothed”, who was twice her age, demanded consent for marriage for several days, keeping the prisoner under the protection of her accomplices — their relatives.

After a week of unsuccessful attempts to escape, the abducted bride was poisoned by the pills found in the house. Once in reanimation in a state of coma, Bakhtygul survived, but remained disabled for her whole life.

A frightened kidnapper took Bakhtygul to her parents from the hospital, and a year later he married another and managed to get children. “He remained unpunished,” complains the victim. - Before the abduction, I had a young man whom I wanted to marry. But now nobody needs me. ”

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22-year-old newly-married Dinara in a scarf - a symbol of marriage. Dinara was kidnapped by Akhmat, who wanted to marry her. 5 hours she refused him, but then agreed. “I didn’t know Ahmad well and didn’t want to stay here,” says Dinara.

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The day after Dinara accepted Akhmat's offer, Akhmat's relatives gathered to pray for the wedding at her family's home.

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“I searched for the right woman for a whole year and was in many places, but I did not find the same one. I saw Dinara 10 days before being kidnapped, at the bazaar. Then I thought that I wanted to marry her. ”

 

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And this is the mother, sister and boyfriend Urus Kasimbay, who committed suicide after Seitbek Imonakunov kidnapped her. He was sentenced to six years in prison for abducting and raping a girl.

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Most young people who do not study and are not employed are concentrated in the countryside - both in the mountains and around large cities. Many have small private houses, but they live only with their household plots. To get a wife for this marginal contingent is just to get a free pair of workers.

In spring, girls finish school, and in families, potential suitors are already looking for who will graze cattle and do housework,says Rimma Sultanova, a monitoring specialist at the Kyrgyz Center for Women's Aid.

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20-year-old Farida is next to her brother, who arrived to save her from the family of the man who abducted her on Naryn Street.
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“If my sister wants to stay here, I will not stop her. But look at her, she cries and says she wants to leave. Therefore, I take her home, ”- this is how this young man addressed the relatives of the failed groom. In the end, he managed to take his sister with him. Every year, about 16,000 women marry their captors. In Soviet times, this tradition of abduction was practiced less frequently than it is now, then usually parents arranged marriages of their children.

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26-year-old Tykhchykbek and his relatives are trying to persuade the 20-year-old Farida to marry him. “I promise you will be happy in the future, so please marry me,” he says. She replies: “How could you kidnap me? You know that I have a boyfriend. Even if I marry you, there will be no love between us. ”

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18-year-old Cholpon sits behind a curtain, waiting for guests to the wedding. Two days earlier, Haman kidnapped her. Cholpon had seen Haman before, but they never even spoke.

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22-year-old Dinara opposes the fact that the elder relative of the man who kidnapped her is trying to put a white scarf on the girl. A handkerchief indicates that she is ready to marry. After three hours, she finally gave up and called her parents to say that she would stay with Akhmat. That evening, Dinara returned to her home. The next day, Akhmat presented her with a ring and brought him back to his house.

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  • Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan

    Stolen brides of Kyrgyzstan