TV story about Chechen girl taken out of Moscow to Chechnya. Screenshot from ‘Grozny’ TV Company broadcasting, http://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=JqgMCSFfTF4

18 July 2019, 23:01

Story of Chechen woman taken out of Moscow emphasizes problem of forced marriages

A report shown in the evening on July 17 by the "Grozny" TV Company, in which a girl taken out of Moscow denied the information about her coercion to marriage, has caused distrust among residents of Chechnya. A marriage against will is not uncommon in Northern Caucasus, the rights defenders interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" believe.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on July 13, Dariya Serenko, an activist of the "Kitezh" crisis centre, reported about a 20-year-old Moscow resident whom her parents took to Chechnya against her will. According to the activist, the girl was dating a Russian boyfriend, and her parents wanted to force their daughter to marry a fellow countryman.

Alvi Karimov, the press secretary of the head of Chechnya, and Akhmed Dudaev, the director of the "Grozny" TV and Radio Company, met the girl and her mother; and a 26-minute report on this was broadcast on the television on July 17. The girl and her mother denied the information of "Kitezh" activists.

The marriage against will is out of question, the girl's mother has emphasized. "Who in our time will marry by force? Who [of the parents] will commit this violence?" the woman asked.

At the same time, the girl has admitted that she ran away from home and spent some time in the crisis centre. According to her story, the reason for contacting the "Kitezh" was in problems with studies and the fear that parents would scold her for it. She said that after some time she repented, called her mother and voluntarily left the "Kitezh" crisis centre.

Some residents of Chechnya interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent called the TV report as a staged one.

Svetlana Gannushkina, the head of the Civil Assistance Committee, reported that she had earlier encountered cases of forced marriage of Chechen women. "Four years ago, a Chechen woman turned to me: they also wanted to return her to the republic from Moscow and marry her. She told us about it, asked for help, but we couldn't help her. Right in Red Square, her relatives forced her into a car and took away. We couldn't get any further information about her," Ms Gannushkina told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

She is confident that forced marriages gear the risk of further cruel treatment of girls. "In such cases, the man who undertakes a forced marriage in the future will not abandon domestic violence. Most often, unfortunately, girls will face cruel treatment throughout their lives," the human rights defender has stated.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on July 18, 2019 at 06:07 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Source: CK correspondents

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