Kyrgyz authorities have punished more than 20 police officers over the brutal killing of a 20-year-old woman by a man who abducted her as part of a long-standing but illegal local practice known as "bride kidnapping."
A provincial police chief and his two deputies as well as a district police chief have been fired and several other police officials demoted, while several others got official warnings, the Interior Ministry said on its website on June 4.
Burulai Turdaaly Kyzy was stabbed to death at a police precinct where she and her abductor had been taken after being detained on May 27 in her native northern province of Chuy, police and family of the victim say.
Officials said that Turdaaly Kyzy and her abductor had been allowed by investigators to be alone in a room together at the precinct, for unknown reasons.
The 29-year-old suspected attacker, whose name has not been released, was hospitalized after stabbing himself, officials said.
The victim had recently graduated from a medical college and was engaged to marry another man with their wedding planned for August, the family told RFE/RL.
Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov strongly condemned the police handling of the case and called for "harsh punishment for all those liable" in Turdaaly Kyzy's death, Kyrgyz media reported on June 4.
Bride kidnapping, which occurs in Kyrgyzstan and some parts of Kazakhstan, has been illegal for years in Kyrgyzstan but prosecutions have been rare.
In 2012, Kyrgyz lawmakers strengthened the punishment, raising the maximum prison term from three to 10 years.
Following the killing of Turdaaly Kyzy, United Nations agencies in Kyrgyzstan urged the Central Asian country to take "all appropriate measures" to stop illegal practices such as bride kidnapping as well as child marriage and forced marriage.