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Hundreds Protest Against Illegal 'Bride Kidnapping' In Kyrgyz Capital

Kyrgyz students release white balloons as they protest against bride kidnapping in downtown Bishkek.

Around 1,500 students and other young people have protested in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, against the illegal practice known as "bride kidnapping."

The issue has come to prominence since the brutal killing of a 20-year-old woman by a man who abducted her, apparently aiming to force her into marriage.

Burulai Turdaaly Kyzy was stabbed to death at a police station on May 27, when police who had detained her and her attacker left them alone in a room together.

Several senior police officers were fired as a result, while others received punishments ranging from warnings to demotion.

Bride kidnapping is illegal in Kyrgyzystan, and lawmakers raised the maximum prison sentence from three to 10 years in 2012, but prosecutions have been rare.