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One Year After Bride-Kidnapping Death, Are Kyrgyzstan’s Women Safer?

Burulai Turdaaly Kyzy was stabbed to death in 2018.

In May 2018, 20-year-old Burulai Turdaaly Kyzy was killed in a police station in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek. Her killer was the man who had just attempted to kidnap her with the intention of forcing Turdaaly Kyzy to marry him. Police left Burulai and her would-be captor alone in the same room.

The tragedy sparked an outcry in Kyrgyzstan against an old practice called Ala-Kachu, or bride kidnapping. There are laws in Kyrgyzstan against Ala-Kachu but the practice continues.

On May 28, Human Rights Watch released a report, “Kyrgyzstan: Pressure Builds to Protect Women and Girls,” to mark the one-year anniversary of Turdaaly Kyzy’s death.

In the latest Majlis, RFE/RL's Media-Relations Manager Muhammad Tahir moderates a discussion that looks at what has and has not changed in protecting women’s rights in Kyrgyzstan in the year since Turdaaly Kyzy was murdered.

Joining the discussion from London was Hillary Margolis, women’s rights researcher focusing on Europe and Central Asia for Human Rights Watch and the author of the May 28 report. From Turkey, Janna Arayeva of the Bishkek Feminist Initiative took part in the discussion. I also took part.

Majlis Podcast: One Year After Bride-Kidnapping Death, Are Kyrgyzstan’s Women Safer?
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About Majlis

Each week, hosts Bruce Pannier and Muhammad Tahir welcome a panel of expert guests to discuss significant political developments and pressing social issues affecting the nations of Central Asia.

Click here to check out the latest Majlis podcast, or visit ITunes.