‘Bride Kidnapping’: Protests erupt in Kyrgyzstan after a woman was abducted and killed

Protests broke out in Kyrgyzstan after a woman was abducted and killed in a case of “bride kidnapping”.

Aizada Kanatbekova, 27, was snatched on Monday by three men who pushed her into a car. It is believed one of them wanted to marry her by force.

Security footage showing the abduction spread widely on social media but police could not track the vehicle.

Ms Kanatbekova’s body was found in an abandoned car on Wednesday.

A shepherd came across the vehicle in a field outside the capital, Bishkek, and raised the alarm.

The young woman’s kidnapper and suspected murderer was also found dead. Police said he died from knife wounds, which were thought to have been self-inflicted.

Ms Kanatbekova’s family said she knew the man, and they had asked him before not to hassle her.

Another of the three men was detained by police, according to state TV.

The illegal abduction of women for marriage is thought to be widespread in the country.

Many believe bride kidnapping is an ancient Kyrgyz tradition, but some researchers argue it became popular in the Central Asian country only a few decades ago.

Parents and relatives relentlessly pressure young men in Kyrgyzstan to marry after they reach a certain age. For many, especially those from poor families, bride kidnapping is the cheapest and quickest way.

About 500 people gathered to demonstrate in front of the interior ministry on Thursday, shouting “Shame!” and demanding the minister’s resignation.

Prime Minister Ulugbek Sharipov urged the crowd to “have patience” while police investigate.