Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan

Bride kidnapping, or commonly known as Ala-Kachuu, is one of the dangerous traditions where men abduct women or ladies and make them into a forced marriage. This tradition or practice violates women’s and girls’ human rights, and regardless of it been illegality and punishable by law, the residents of Kyrgyzstan still practice it. This sex crime is punishable to up to 10 years in prison.

Marriage by capture or abduction is the practice of abducting women to force them into marriage. It has been practiced throughout history among the people from southern Asia, Mexico, Europe, and Amazon jungle. Although the motives behind bride kidnapping vary by region, the cultures that practice this art are generally patriarchal and are possessed by a social stigma on pregnancy or sex outside illegitimate births and marriages.

This practice was declared illegality in Kyrgyzstan but is still practiced in rural areas. It’s a commonly accepted way of getting a wife for the people despite being a violation by the UN. In a recent survey done on crime included the crime of young women kidnapping for marriage. 14% of the women already in marriages answered that they had been kidnapped, with two-thirds of them being nonconsensual. This shows that 5% of the marriages were as a result of the bride kidnapping.

This practice is discouraged as it leads to incidences of marital, domestic violence, and psychological disturbances. The illegality is rarely prosecuted because of many reasons best known to the citizens. The lady who happens to report the case faces a lot of stigmatization and may not be considered suitable for marriage. The customary law under the rule of aqsaqal courts and elders has stepped in to ensure that the marriage is done without much harm. In Kyrgyzstan, bride kidnapping is subdivided into Consensual where the bride is taken and ran away with it after an agreement.  On the other hand, in Nonconsensual, the kidnappers took the bride and ran away with her without any form of agreement or consent. However, research shows that this practice is mainly done to avoid the bride price or incur heavy spending during wedding celebrations or other festivities. In nonconsensual kidnapping, the kidnappers use mainly deception to lure the bride.



TOL, T. (2018). Transitions Online_Around the Bloc-Killing Exposes Persistence of Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan. Transitions Online, (06/12), 5-6.

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