Having not been covered by any Kyrgyz media or international news agencies, yet another case of suicide as a result of bride abduction in the remote region if Issyk Kul in Kyrgyzstan has been reported.

On the 8th of June, 20 year old Kysymbai Kyzy Yrys was kidnapped by a 34 year old man in Sary Kamysh village of Aksuu Rayon in the Issyk Kul Oblast in Kyrgyzstan. Miss Yrys was kidnapped by Shaimbek Imanakunov and was then taken to his familial home to conduct an illegal and forced marriage.

On the day when Yrys was kidnapped, her relatives came to see her and asked if she wanted to stay with the kidnapper. Having told her sister that she would stay, the following day she called her parents and requested that she be taken back home. Yrys's family took her back immediately, but at her parents' home she committed suicide in the early hours of 10th of June.

The kidnapper, Mr Imanakunov had previously been divorced twice before. Yrys had told her relatives that she did not want to stay with him and that she had wished to choose her life-partner freely. Yrys explained to her family that she was unhappy in the marriage and that she did not wish to continue to live if she was forced to stay with Imanakunov.

On finding Yrys' corpse, her family contacted the police who subsequently arrested the kidnapper but was released shortly after. The local ombudsmen is currently trying to take this case up in the local court to detain the kidnapper.

Yrys was put under extreme pressure by not only the relatives of the kidnapper but also her own family to stay in this forced marriage. It is a familiar story which is echoed in many cases across Kyrgyzstan. In most cases, either the girl conforms or in rare cases is able to escape the marriage. In this case, its clear that Yrys felt she had no alternative than to take her own life.

Bride Kidnapping has been outlawed in Kyrgyzstan for many years and following two suicides from the same village, again in the Issyk Kul region little over 24 months ago, this is now the thrid case of suicide followiing Ala Kachuu (bride kidnapping). The Kyrgyz Government did engage in a month of awareness in November last year but its impact has been minimal thus far.

Yrys death further highlights the need for long standing development work to exist within the realm of women's rights in Kyrgyzstan.

We will be updating this page with more information as we receive it - and will be talking about the issue in more detail at our forthcoming event Building Hope coming up this Saturday 16th June.

Many thanks to our partners in Kyrgyzstan, Kyz Kogon for sharing this information with us

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