Kyrgyzstan: Bride Kidnapping Not Just a Rural Phenomenon

Although bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan has primarily happened in the countryside, the illegal activity is taking place in Bishkek as well. As rural migrants flood into the city, young men too poor to afford the pageantry of a traditional wedding opt instead to kidnap a bride. (Photo: Dean C.K. Cox)

Seven years ago Aijan was walking home from her waitressing job in central Bishkek with two girlfriends. They did not notice the three men following them. As two men tackled the other women, one dragged Aijan, 21 at the time, into a waiting car.

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Asel Kalybekova is a freelance reporter based in Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan: Bride Kidnapping Not Just a Rural Phenomenon

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