KYRGYZSTAN: Revolt over violence against women and police inertia
Demonstrations in several cities after the kidnapping and killing of Aizada Kanatbekova, 26. The kidnapper, Zamirbek Tenizbaev, 36, wanted to marry her. He had already been convicted several times for violence. Some policemen are suspected of being involved in the kidnapping. The fight against “marital abductions”
by Vladimir Rozanskij
AsiaNews (04.10.2021) – https://bit.ly/3wNXCRr – Demonstrations against violence against women took place in Bishkek and Oša on 8 April, following the kidnapping and killing of a young woman, with calls for the resignation of the interior minister.
The announcement of the Bishkek procession states: “The whole city is shocked by the story of the kidnapping and murder of the young woman Aizada Kanatbekova. The kidnapping took place early in the morning in the city center. The police had the surveillance video recorded, the license plate number and the car brand of the kidnappers, but they did nothing to save the girl. If you agree that all of this is unacceptable we invite you to come with us to demonstrate against violence “.
Aizada, 26 (right in the photo), was kidnapped on April 5. She had just lost her father and lived alone with her mother, Nazgul Shakenova. She graduated from the Turkish-Kyrgyz University of Manas was a national volleyball player a human rights activist and she volunteered during the pandemic. She was much loved by those who knew her, she dreamed of buying a house for her mother, and had no desire to get married; her friends say that she “loved her life, and she hurried to live it”.
Her attacker, the 36-year-old Zamirbek Tenizbaev (left in the photo), had already been convicted several times for violence. He had returned from Russia to Kyrgyzstan in 2017, and was a transporter, living on the street and sleeping in a car rented from a relative. At 7 am on April 5, Zamirbek attacked Aizada with the help of four people on her way to work. The kidnapper communicated with the relatives, saying that he could not live without Aizada, whom he had been bothering for weeks now. On 7 April a shepherd found a car with Aizada’s body, she had been suffocated with a T-shirt, and that of Zamirbek, who committed suicide after suffering numerous knife wounds.
The tragic affair had a particular resonance due to the inertia of the police, which further aggravated the scandal of the crime. It would seem that some policemen were involved in the kidnapping “for the purpose of marriage”: some policemen would have warned Aizada’s relatives to “prepare to meet her boyfriend, because Aizada must get married”. At the police station, only the “theft of a car” was initially recorded, which was later backdated to kidnapping after the outbreak of the scandal.
The demonstrations revealed popular the indignation at the medieval oppression of women with the people demanding the resignation of Minister Ulan Nijazbekov, accused of covering up the policemen involved in the affair. The crowd are calling for judicial sanctions against the practice of “matrimonial abduction” to be tightened, in Kyrgyz ala kachuu, and Prime Minister Ulubek Maripov, in office since the elections in February, has promised to review the laws in this regard. The population is also demanding the arrest of all the other participants in the kidnapping, condemning them for complicity in murder. Police arrested four suspects.
Aizada Kanatbekova was buried in the hometown of Balykcy. She had a ticket in her pocket to Istanbul, where she was to start working to buy a house for her mother. Now her name has become the beginning of the redemption of Kyrgyz women from the arrogance of males.
Photo credits: AsiaNews