Kyrgyz Interior Ministry proposes stiffer penalties for bride kidnapping


BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan's Interior Ministry (MVD) proposed enacting stricter penalties for bride kidnapping and forced marriages, AKIpress reported Friday (July 6).

Under current law, kidnapping brides younger than 17 is punishable with a fine of 10,000-50,000 KGS ($146-731), two years of hard labour or five years' imprisonment. The punishment for kidnapping an adult woman for forced marriage is three years in prison or a 10,000-20,000 KGS ($146-252) fine.

If legislators amend the criminal code as sought by the MVD, it would increase fines for forcing minors into marriages to 100,000-300,000 KGS ($1,460-4,300) or 3-5 years in prison. Fines for kidnapping adults would rise to 100,000-200,000 KGS ($1,460-2,900).

Last year, 11 of the 28 criminal cases sent to courts last year in connection with charges of forced marriage were terminated, according to the Interior Ministry. Meanwhile, 16 defendants received suspended sentences and only one began a five-year prison term.

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