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‘Bride kidnapping’ victim dragged into car for forced marriage in Kyrgyzstan – and ends up murdered

This is the horrifying moment a young woman was ambushed by three men on her way home from work and shoved into a car in Kyrgyzstan – hours before she was found murdered in a case of ‘bride kidnapping’.

Security camera footage shows Aizada Kanatbekova, 27, being surrounded by the trio before they grab her and push her into the back of a red Honda Civic in the capital Bishkek on Monday so that she could be forcibly married.

One man can be seen pulling Karantbekova across the street but as she struggles against his grip, another man runs towards her and lifts her from the ground before shoving her inside the car.  

Aizada Kanatbekova (far right) struggles against the grip of one man before another runs up to her

Aizada Kanatbekova (far right) struggles against the grip of one man before another runs up to her

The two men grab Kanatbekova while a man in a red cap waits to open the door

The two men grab Kanatbekova while a man in a red cap waits to open the door

Security camera footage shows Aizada Kanatbekova, 27, being surrounded by the trio before they grab her and push her into the back of a red Honda Civic in the capital Bishkek on Monday

Man with a red cap opens the car door as Karanthbekova is pushed inside

Man with a red cap opens the car door as Karanthbekova is pushed inside

The two remaining men clamber inside the vehicle

The two remaining men clamber inside the vehicle

A man in a red cap can be seen waiting by the car and opens the door so that Karanthbekova can be put inside (left). He then runs off to a nearby vehicle. The two remaining men clamber inside the vehicle (right), which has its licence plate clearly visible, before driving off

Police said Wednesday Aizada Karantbekova's (right) body was found strangled in the back of the car outside of the capital and she had been abducted for marriage in a case of 'bride kidnapping'

Police said Wednesday Aizada Karantbekova's (right) body was found strangled in the back of the car outside of the capital and she had been abducted for marriage in a case of 'bride kidnapping'

Police said Wednesday Aizada Karantbekova’s (right) body was found strangled in the back of the car outside of the capital and she had been abducted for marriage in a case of ‘bride kidnapping’

A man in a red cap can be seen waiting by the car and opens the door so that Karanthbekova can be put inside. He then runs off to a nearby vehicle.

The two remaining men clamber inside the vehicle, which has its licence plate clearly visible, before driving off.  

Police said Wednesday Karantbekova’s body was found strangled in the back of the car outside of the capital and she had been abducted for marriage in a case of ‘bride kidnapping’.  

Kanatbekova’s kidnapper and assumed murderer, believed to be a 36-year-old man, was also found dead, police said, adding that they believe he committed suicide.

One of the other kidnappers was detained by police, state television reported today.

Kanatbekova’s abduction and death sparked some 500 people to demonstrate in the capital today to demand the resignation of police chiefs.

Kanatbekova's abduction and death sparked some 500 people to demonstrate in the capital today to demand the resignation of police chiefs

Kanatbekova's abduction and death sparked some 500 people to demonstrate in the capital today to demand the resignation of police chiefs

Kanatbekova’s abduction and death sparked some 500 people to demonstrate in the capital today to demand the resignation of police chiefs

The protesters called for the sacking of the interior minister and the city police chief and held banners bearing slogans such as 'Who will answer for Aizada's murder?', 'End the femicide' and 'Who still thinks that murder is a tradition?'

The protesters called for the sacking of the interior minister and the city police chief and held banners bearing slogans such as 'Who will answer for Aizada's murder?', 'End the femicide' and 'Who still thinks that murder is a tradition?'

The protesters called for the sacking of the interior minister and the city police chief and held banners bearing slogans such as ‘Who will answer for Aizada’s murder?’, ‘End the femicide’ and ‘Who still thinks that murder is a tradition?’

The protesters held up pictures of Kanatbekova whilst shouting ‘Shame!’ in front of the interior ministry. 

They are angry that the police failed to find Kanatbekova in time, or her suspect, after the kidnapping had been caught on camera with the car model and number plates clearly visible. 

The protesters called for the sacking of the interior minister and the city police chief and held banners bearing slogans such as ‘Who will answer for Aizada’s murder?’, ‘End the femicide’ and ‘Who still thinks that murder is a tradition?’ 

Another protester held up a sign reading: ‘How many of us need to die before the kidnapping stops?’

Bride kidnapping, known locally as Ala Kachuu, has roots in the Central Asian country’s nomadic past and persisted into the Soviet era, albeit on a smaller scale.

The practice involves a potential groom forcibly taking a young woman or girl back to his home before pressuring her to agree to marriage by writing a letter of consent. 

The protesters held up pictures of Kanatbekova whilst shouting 'Shame!' in front of the interior ministry

The protesters held up pictures of Kanatbekova whilst shouting 'Shame!' in front of the interior ministry

The protesters held up pictures of Kanatbekova whilst shouting ‘Shame!’ in front of the interior ministry

The rally drew some 500 people and prompted Prime Minister Ulugbek Maripov to address the protesters

The rally drew some 500 people and prompted Prime Minister Ulugbek Maripov to address the protesters

The rally drew some 500 people and prompted Prime Minister Ulugbek Maripov to address the protesters

But the practice became chronic after the country gained independence in 1991. 

It was outlawed in 2013 but convictions are extremely rare and survivors are reluctant to file complaints due to threats of violence and cultural stigma.

Journalist Mahinur Niyazova, who tweeted a call to rally outside the interior ministry headquarters, said that the murder showed police had other priorities rather than defending women from violence.

‘It is impossible to be quiet and observe the violence that our women, who lack any rights, must endure,’ said Niyazova, who is deputy editor of popular news website 24.kg.  

The rally drew some 500 people and prompted Prime Minister Ulugbek Maripov to address the protesters.

He asked them to ‘have patience’ and promised that everyone associated with the kidnapping would be punished, as several demonstrators shouted him down and called for his dismissal too.

President Sadyr Japarov on Facebook described Kanatbekova’s death as ‘a tragedy and pain not only for her family, but also for our entire state’.

He said the incident should be ‘the last bride kidnapping in history’.

The last time a bride kidnapping death brought protesters onto the streets in Kyrgyzstan was in 2018, when 20-year-old medical student Burulai Turdaaly Kyzy was killed in a police station where officers had held her with her kidnapper as she prepared to file a statement against him.

According to the UN Women’s office in Bishkek, one in five marriages in the impoverished republic of 6.5 million are concluded after a bride kidnapping incident.

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