Kyrgyzstan

Equality Now Calls for Continued Action to End Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan (Safe World for Women)

12/22/2012 -- Safe World For Women -- "Equality Now Calls for Continued Action to End Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan"; On 13 December 2012, the Kyrgyz Parliament approved a bill aimed at strengthening legislation on bride kidnapping. Equality Now welcomes this development and urges President Almazbek Atambayev to sign the bill so that it can finally become law.

Kyrgyz Parliament Approves Bill To Strengthen Bride Kidnapping Legislation (HuffPo UK)

12/19/2012 -- Huffington Post UK -- "Kyrgyz Parliament Approves Bill To Strengthen Bride Kidnapping Legislation" Middle East/North African Consultant Suad Abu-Dayyeh on the recently passed bill in Kyrgyzstan and the continued need for action to end bride kidnapping.

Kyrgyzstan: Call to end bride kidnapping

Location: 
Kyrgyzstan
Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2011 Nov 7
Update Date: 
2013 Jan 29
Update: 

Click here to view this in Russian (Нажмите здесь, чтобы посмотреть на русском языке).

JANUARY 28, 2013 UPDATE: The president of Kyrgyzstan, Mr. Almazbek Atambayev, has signed a bill into law to increase the maximum prison sentence for bride kidnapping from three to seven years, and up to 10 years if the kidnapped bride is younger than 17, which is the minimum legal age for marriage. Equality Now welcomes this development, and we thank the many of you who have been supporting this campaign. We will continue to strategize with our partners regarding how to ensure that the law is implemented and that women's rights are properly protected.


DECEMBER 14, 2012 UPDATE:On 13 December 2012, the Kyrgyz Parliament approved a bill aimed at strengthening legislation on bride kidnapping. Equality Now welcomes this development and urges President Almazbek Atambayev to sign the bill so that it can finally become law.

Please continue to write to President Atambayev, asking him to sign the bill and to ensure that cases of bride kidnapping are properly investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. We will continue to work with our partners on the ground to successfully implement the law to prevent bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan.


NOVEMBER 16, 2012 UPDATE: Equality Now has been informed by the Kyrgyz Public Prosecutor’s office that it has taken steps aimed at strengthening investigations of allegations of bride kidnapping across the country, although details about these measures and their implementation are currently unclear.  Furthermore, in January 2012 the Kyrgyz parliament rejected a legislative amendment that would have introduced fines for Islamic clerics who bless unofficially registered marriages, which commonly include those resulting from bride kidnapping.

Another bill was introduced in June 2012 which sought to strengthen the law on bride kidnapping and this bill was adopted at second reading by the Kyrgyz Parliament on 18 October 2012.  Upon consultation with local partners, Equality Now sent a letter to the Kyrgyz parliament welcoming this development and urging all members of parliament to take this opportunity to ensure that legislation adequately strengthened, including by amending it to incorporate accomplice liability for those complicit in the kidnapping as well as guaranteed protection of victims and provision of easy access to medical, social and legal services.  We also called on members of parliament to ensure that once stronger legislation has been passed, it is duly implemented, and that they do what they can, in their capacity as members of parliament, to ensure that cases are properly investigated and prosecuted and that the government implements awareness raising in the context of a comprehensive prevention strategy.  At the same time, we expressed our support for a petition sent to parliament by Kyrgyz women’s groups in support of stronger legislation. 


 

Click here to view this action in Russian (Нажмите здесь, чтобы посмотреть на русском языке).

*All names of victims have been changed in order to protect their identities

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Kyrgyz president, calling on him to ensure that cases of bride kidnapping are properly investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law and to raise public awareness about the crime of bride kidnapping and the importance of equal rights within society. Request that he strengthen current legislation against bride kidnapping, including accomplice liability for relatives complicit in the kidnapping, and introduce amendments to guarantee protection of victims and provide easy access to medical, social and legal services.

>> TAKE ACTION NOW!

Letters should go to:

President Almazbek Atambayev
Administration of the President
Government House
720003, Bishkek
Kyrgyzstan
Tel: +(996) 312 63 85 65
E-mail: okmotkg@mail.gov.kg

Letters: 

Dear ____ :

I write to you to thank your government for recently strengthening the law against bride kidnapping in support of the call by local groups trying to stop this harmful practice, which violates women and girls’ rights to bodily integrity, freedom of movement and freedom from violence.

I recognise your government has taken other steps also to address this issue and would like to encourage you now to ensure that cases of bride kidnapping are fully investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This is in keeping with Kyrgyzstan’s own Constitution, which guarantees equality under the law and with its international obligations including under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. There is also strong support among Kyrgyz women for a public awareness campaign on this issue.

I welcome your government’s leadership in moving to protect women from bride kidnapping and urge you to continue your efforts to make bride kidnapping a thing of the past and so end the suffering of thousands of women.

Respectfully yours,

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