Leo Burnett Moscow erects ‘koshogo’ printed with shocking stories all around the capital of Bishkek
Every 17th girl in Kyrgyzstan is kidnapped for marriage without her consent. A kidnapper’s family hangs a white curtain - known as a ‘koshogo’ - in their house, and a girl is forced to sit behind it. This means that she agrees to get married to the kidnapper. After that, there is no way back.
But on Friday November 30th, koshogos with real stories of kidnapped women appeared all over Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
In Kyrgyzstan, men can be imprisoned for seven years for bride kidnapping (‘ala kachuu’). But since the punishment for ala kachuu appeared in the criminal code of Kyrgyzstan five years ago, only 895 crime statements were registered by police. Of these, only 18% became a criminal case - and only 28 cases reached court.
Kloop.kg, a Kyrgyzstani online media platform, and Leo Burnett Moscow, launched the campaign while the court in Bishkek was considering a criminal case on the murder of Burulai Turdaly kyzy, who was killed by her kidnapper in a police station when police officers locked her in the same room with him.
There are a lot of problems with the execution of the law: police do not accept statements, and girls are under pressure while society and police try to convince that ala kachuu is a tradition, but not a crime.
Leo Burnett Moscow believes it is necessary not only to toughen the existing laws regarding the bride kidnapping, but also to make sure that the police execute them without argument.
This will happen when police respond and work with statements on such crimes. But there is also a problem: 94% of police officers are men, and the majority of men in Kyrgyzstan do not have a negative attitude to this problem.
“We demand that women in police should occupy at least 50% of the total. We believe that if more women will work in police, the safer will be the lives of women in Kyrgyzstan, because access to justice and the trust to the police will increase,” says a Leo Burnett representative.
On ala-kachuu.kloop.kg you can find real stories of women who experienced bride kidnapping but did not have their statements considered by police.