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Bride kidnapping incident in Kazakhstan 05 сентября 2014, 18:24

Medieval traditions or not, but bride kidnapping continues in some parts of Kazakhstan. A bystander took a video of a failed attempt to kidnap a woman.
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Photo courtesy of  rus.azattyk.org Photo courtesy of rus.azattyk.org

Medieval traditions or not, but bride kidnapping continues in some parts of Kazakhstan. A bystander took a video of a failed attempt to kidnap a woman and uploaded it on the Intenet, Tengrinews reports citing 31 Canal.

On the video, a man carries a woman wearing a doctor's overall - probably a doctor or a nurse - from a local hospital and tries to forcefully put her into the car. The kidnapping is taking place right in front of the woman’s colleagues and patients. Many seem indifferent or at least are passively spectating the kidnapping, probably thinking it to be some kind of a joke.

The woman manages to break free with the help of her colleagues who eventually realize that it is not her boyfriend's idea of a joke, but a real kidnapping attempt. So the kidnapping fails. 

Despite the poor quality of the video, number 13 is clearly visible on the license plates of the car, which means that the car is registered in South Kazakhstan Oblast.

You can watch the video of kidnapping in the channel's news report (the report is in Russian, but the kidnapping video does not require any translation).

The TV channel passed the video down to the police. “We certainly want the woman to file a police report. This would enable the Department of the Interior Affairs to prosecute the kidnappers,” the head of the press office of the South Kazakhstan Oblast DIA Saltanat Karakozova said.

Bride kidnapping once used to be a Kazakh tradition. It was a option that a man could reserve to if he was too poor to pay the required dowry for the woman he wanted to marry, or if his or her parents were blankly against the marriage. However there were also cases when the tradition was used to kidnap and marry a woman against her will. This often caused blood feuds among families.

The tradition is no longer observed in Kazakhstan. But part of it have remained as a form of an game for the young people who are planning to get married. This explains why the onlookers were first watching the kidnapping attempt idly and were not trying to interfere until they realized that the woman was actually resisting.

Regrettably there are also cases, rare ones, involving a man trying to kidnap a woman and force her into marriage under the guise of the old Kazakh tradition of bride kidnapping. In some of this cases the involved men ridiculously view it as a sound way to dodge courting and dating a woman before marrying her.

Such actions are qualified as kidnapping of a person and punished by 7 to 12 years in prison under the Article 125 of the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan.

However, there has not been a single precedent of anyone being jailed for bride kidnapping in Kazakhstan. None of the reports filed to the police by the kidnapped women or their relatives have ended up in court. In all the cases all they wanted was to get the man to take the kidnapped woman back home. None of the women wanted to proceed with their reports to court. Probably, because they wanted no extra publicity for the incidents.

In December 2013, members of the League of Women Creative Initiative urged Kazakhstan Government  to introduce criminal liability specifically for bride kidnapping. Later, the members of the Majilis (Lower Chamber of the Parliament) discussed toughening the punishment for bride kidnapping in Kazakhstan, but the lawmakers failed to come to any final decision.

Writing by Gyuzel Kamalova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina

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