kazakhstan woman’s death is slap on government’s face
In a blow to women’s rights, a 31 year old woman was killed allegedly at the hands of her husband, a former top-ranking official in Kazakhstan’s government. Her killing sparked debate on domestic violence in Kazakhstan, a Central Asian country.
Over the weekend, the case became widely recognized in Kazakhstan. The Central Asian nation does not criminalize domestic violence as a standalone offense.
Domestic violence is rampant in Kazakhstan. Women are suffering because of the laws and the legal system. Men have repeatedly committed violent acts against women and the legal system ignores the plight of the women. Police officers do not act on complaints of domestic violence because they do not consider it an offense.
Woman killed by the former economy minister
Saltanat Nukenova was allegedly killed by Kuandyk Bishimbayev, the former economy minister. Saltanat Nukenova and Kuandyk Bishimbayev were married. On 9 November, Saltanat Nukenova was killed because of domestic violence. Her body showed signs of a violent death.
A court in Astana, the Capital of Kazakhstan, ordered that Kuandyk Bishimbayev, a 43-year-old, who holds an MBA from George Washington University, must be held in jail for at least two months for investigations.
What happened to Saltanat Nukenova?
Saltanat Nukenova and Kuandyk Bishimbayev went for dinner at a restaurant in Astana. However, an argument broke out between them. The restaurant was completely booked for the couple and was closed to the public.
According to reports and CCTV, Kuandyk Bishimbayev was savagely beating Saltanat Nukenova over an argument. Later on, he asked his brother to delete the CCTV footage. However, his brother called an ambulance, after which medical professionals were able to confirm that Saltanat Nukenova was dead. She died because of domestic violence.
Medics found bruises on her body and head. She was hit on the head with a blunt object. Investigators also recovered the deleted CCTV footage.
When the authorities arrested Kuandyk Bishimbayev, he threatened to stab himself.
Close family members revealed that he used to frequently abuse his wife. Saltanat Nukenova’s friend, Linara Smagulova, said that she had often seen bruises and scars of those assaults on her body.
Call for justice
Human Rights Watch has urged the authorities to investigate the whole matter and give justice to Saltanat Nukenova. Human Rights Watch also urged the authorities to end domestic violence and end impunity for abusers.
A parliamentary deputy, Zhuldyz Suleimenova, from the ruling Amanat party, has also proposed criminalization of all forms of violence against women and children.