BISHKEK (TCA) — A court in Kyrgyzstan has sentenced a man to 20 years in prison for kidnapping and killing a young woman in a case that caused public outcry in the Central Asian nation, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reported.
The Sverdlov District court in the capital Bishkek on December 11 found Mars Bodoshev, 29, guilty of abducting Burulai Turdaaly kyzy to force her to marry him, and of killing her.
Bodoshev’s co-defender, Akmat Seiitov, who helped his friend in the kidnapping, was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Turdaaly kyzy was stabbed to death at a police station in the northern province of Chui on May 27, when police who had detained her and her abductor left them alone in a room together.
Several senior police officers were fired as a result, while others received punishments ranging from warnings to demotion.
Following the killing of Turdaaly kyzy, hundreds of people protested in Kyrgyzstan against the practice known as bride kidnapping.
The practice is illegal in Kyrgyzstan, and lawmakers raised the maximum prison sentence from three to 10 years in 2012, but prosecutions have been rare.
In September, a report by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women charged Kyrgyzstan with allowing systemic human-rights violations due to “a culture of abduction, rape, and forced marriage.”
The report found that victims are further hindered in their efforts to seek justice by their legal illiteracy and by the biases of many officials.
“Abduction of girls and women for child- or forced marriage should not be accepted as a cultural tradition, but must be prosecuted and punished as a crime that regularly involves rape of the victim,” said report co-author Lia Nadaraia.