Latest Suicide Case of Bride Kidnapping Victim

Having not been covered by any Kyrgyz media or international news agencies, yet another case of suicide as a result of bride abduction in the remote region if Issyk Kul in Kyrgyzstan has been reported.

On the 8th of June, 20 year old Kysymbai Kyzy Yrys was kidnapped by a 34 year old man in Sary Kamysh village of Aksuu Rayon in the Issyk Kul Oblast in Kyrgyzstan. Miss Yrys was kidnapped by Shaimbek Imanakunov and was then taken to his familial home to conduct an illegal and forced marriage.  

On the day when Yrys was kidnapped, her relatives came to see her and asked if she wanted to stay with the kidnapper. Having told her sister that she would stay, the following day she called her parents and requested that she be taken back home. Yrys's family took her back immediately, but at her parents' home she committed suicide in the early hours of 10th of June.

The kidnapper, Mr Imanakunov had previously been divorced twice before. Yrys had told her relatives that she did not want to stay with him and that she had wished to choose her life-partner freely. Yrys explained to her family that she was unhappy in the marriage and that she did not wish to continue to live if she was forced to stay with Imanakunov.

On finding Yrys' corpse, her family contacted the police who subsequently arrested the kidnapper but was released shortly after.  The local ombudsmen is currently trying to take this case up in the local court to detain the kidnapper.

Yrys was put under extreme pressure by not only the relatives of the kidnapper but also her own family to stay in this forced marriage. It is a familiar story which is echoed in many cases across Kyrgyzstan.  In most cases, either the girl conforms or in rare cases is able to escape the marriage.  In this case, its clear that Yrys felt she had no alternative than to take her own life.

Bride Kidnapping has been outlawed in Kyrgyzstan for many years and following two suicides from the same village, again in the Issyk Kul region little over 24 months ago, this is now the thrid case of suicide followiing Ala Kachuu (bride kidnapping).  The Kyrgyz Government did engage in a month of awareness in November last year but its impact has been minimal thus far.

Yrys death further highlights the need for long standing development work to exist within the realm of women's rights in Kyrgyzstan.

We will be updating this page with more information as we receive it - and will be talking about the issue in more detail at our forthcoming event Building Hope coming up this Saturday 16th June.

Many thanks to our partners in Kyrgyzstan, Kyz Kogon for sharing this information with us


Nadia Hussain

Another sad demonstration of how important it is that the Government steps up it's response to actually policing ala kachuu and also how important families support the right to demand change and say no to ala kachuu, despite community pressure!

14 June 2012 delete
Mabrur Ahmed

one of our partners in Kyrgyzstan mentioned that there is a bigger penalty for a man to kidnap livestock off a farm than there is for a man to kidnap a woman from her own house - this is the sad state of affairs :*(

14 June 2012 delete
Dilruba Wadud

Its a sad state of affairs, when the life of livestock on a farm is valued higher than that of a woman; a human being!! Its absolutely sickening.

14 June 2012 delete
Meli Sa

It's shocking how no news agency has even mentioned it. They act as though Ala Kachuu is a vrry rare case however it happens all around the world and is a lot more widespread than thr governments make it out to be. The punishments must be increased, local mentality has to be changed!

14 June 2012 delete
Mabrur Ahmed

That is the biggest challenge Melisa - how do you change the mindset of a community who for years have accepted something which they kn ow is wrong but feel is part and parcel of their life? A big challenge and the reason why I mentioned the need for long lasting development

14 June 2012 delete
Jakril Hoque

Really sad to hear this, so young, her whole life and future robbed from her and her family due to this mindless and senseless obsession to control and commodify women. Patriachal insecurity is like a cancer to society inhibiting our sisters and daughters to flourish.

14 June 2012 delete
Mabrur Ahmed

I think youv'e hit the nail on the head there Jak, Patriarchy :/

14 June 2012 delete
Mobz Miah

and to think this is not the only country that experiences this, but up to another 17 countries! We only know the absolute smallest of fractions for bride kidnapping.

18 June 2012 delete