Bullied Tajik Bride Escapes Tragic Finish As Abuse Development Persists


HUSHERI, Tajikistan — When Ruzigul Mahmadsaid disappeared from her village in Tajikistan amid a battle together with her in-laws in October, her dad and mom feared the worst.

There was a rising pattern of suicides amongst younger brides lately within the Central Asian nation, the place the abuse of daughters-in-law is frequent. In probably the most excessive instances, ladies have sure themselves to their kids and jumped into speeding rivers.

The 22-year-old Mahmadsaid escaped that tragic finish. She reappeared in November after fleeing to a ladies’s shelter within the capital, Dushanbe, and now lives together with her dad and mom.

However her disappearance for greater than a month from her in-laws’ dwelling has put the highlight on the plight of younger Tajik brides, a lot of whom endure verbal and bodily abuse from their in-laws.

“When a younger girl strikes in together with her in-laws, she is the brand new physique in the home, the one which every thing will get taken out on,” Alla Kuvatova, a sociologist on the Russian-Tajik Slavonic College in Dushanbe, informed RFE/RL. And when tragedy strikes, “investigators are inclined to aspect with the lady’s parents-in-law, as a result of they’re older, and since society itself thinks that the lady can be guilty.”

Specialists say a dire economic system has compounded the often-suffocating relations between in-laws and brides, upon whom a lot of the house responsibilities inevitably falls.

A joint examine revealed in 2016 by the Girls’s Committee, a neighborhood analysis group, and the British charity Oxfam discovered that 97 % of males and 72 % of ladies in Tajikistan believed {that a} girl should tolerate home violence to be able to preserve her household collectively.

Knife Wounds Deemed A ‘Suicide’

A spate of court docket verdicts lately had appeared to sign that in-laws now not loved full impunity in how they deal with their daughters-in-law, though younger ladies proceed to have little safety.

Since 2018, a number of mothers-in-law — and in no less than one case, a father-in-law — have been sentenced to jail for driving younger ladies to suicide, a criminal offense that carries a most punishment of eight years in jail.

The latest and outstanding instance was Bibikalon Nazirova, the mother-in-law of 25-year-old Manora Abdufattoh, who died at dwelling in June.

Nazirova was initially sentenced to seven years in jail for driving her daughter-in-law to suicide. However her time period was shortened to 5 years final month, a choice that has enraged rights campaigners and Abdufattoh’s household, who consider that she was murdered, citing the 26 knife wounds to her abdomen and neck.

“A decide of the Supreme Courtroom contemplating the attraction stated that [he had taken] the convict’s intercourse under consideration,” Abdufattoh’s father, Abdufattoh Misokov, vented after the decision. “What sort of justice is that this? Is my daughter, who misplaced her life due to [Nazirova], not a girl as nicely?”

A Fortunate Escape However An Unsure Future

When Mahmadsaid disappeared from her village, about 30 kilometers from Dushanbe, her mom suspected her in-laws. “I might ask her: ‘Are you dwelling nicely? How is your mother-in-law?’ She informed me that they have been all the time telling her, ‘We do not care, simply cope with it,'” Bulbul Musafirova informed RFE/RL’s Tajik Service final month earlier than her daughter reappeared.

Mahmadsaid’s father, Muhamadsaid Avazov, informed RFE/RL that the 2 households had lengthy been at odds. He stated that the bullying of his daughter started when he did not construct a crib for Mahmadsaid’s first youngster.

Baraktulla Ashurov, Mahmadsaid’s now-estranged husband, stated his spouse informed his household that she was visiting a physician for a check-up on the day she disappeared. The day earlier than, he claimed that they’d gone to the bazaar collectively to purchase garments.

Mahmadsaid solely determined to go away the ladies’s shelter in Dushanbe to assuage her dad and mom’ fears for her security, after seeing their interviews with RFE/RL’s Tajik Service, in accordance with her father. Mahmadsaid has not but filed for divorce, Avazov stated, though he added that she had no intention of going again to her husband.

Whereas divorces are on the rise in Tajikistan — official statistics displaying greater than 7,000 divorces within the first half of this 12 months level to a 12 % rise towards final 12 months’s figures — the stigma surrounding divorce, and particularly divorced ladies returning to their household properties, has not modified.

Tajik Justice Minister Muzaffar Ashuriyon appeared guilty the youthful era for the spike, saying younger folks “have to be taught extra about their rights and duties within the household.”

However Gulrukhsor, a corporation that runs shelters for girls in Tajikistan, says that round half the ladies who search the group’s assist have suffered abuse by their in-laws.

Mahmadsaid faces an unsure future. She is separated from her two sons, who’re dwelling together with her husband’s household. “She is probably the most valuable treasure on this planet, and I’ll all the time settle for her, no matter her sins,” her father informed RFE/RL’s Tajik Service.

“Apart from, my grandchildren want their mom,” Avazov stated. “They love her very a lot.”

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