When people come to the police station to report bride kidnapping cases, they are questioned by the police for an unreasonably long time and eventually women themselves refuse to file a case. If the police station is located in another district, women are referred to the police station, where the offense took place. Police officers also ask about witnesses and how many witnesses can prove that a woman was actually kidnapped. Thus, the responsibility is laid on the shoulders of a woman, who does not know how to proceed further. It takes at least 3-4 months for the filed cases to be considered by the police and trials might take months as well.
If a woman is accompanied by a lawyer, cases are filed immediately without further questions. For example, when I tell women or girls to file cases by themselves, they usually spend days trying to do so. Eventually, the police refuse their requests to file a case or a complaint. Once I accompany a victim, the application is accepted immediately. Women often don’t have the resources to hire a lawyer since they depend on their families, especially on their male relatives who view such actions as shameful.
The punishment for kidnapping a woman for the purpose of marriage was increased in 2007. Nevertheless, my colleagues in Osh do not lead any related cases. Some girls have recently complained that their parents force them to marry. Some parents physically abuse their daughters on a daily basis and force them to marry a man that they have already chosen. There have been instances when girls were killed after they were kidnapped. The news resonated in the country and parents realized that the bride kidnapping is a criminal offense. Now, they force their daughters to get married.