"Mom sold me": Girl Abducted by Neighbors in Almaty Region

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20-year-old Asel’s situation is quite the story. Her mother betrayed her, she was abducted, a fight broke out, and police did not respond to her relatives' call. Clarity and justice are absent, however. The young woman says she was kidnapped by neighbors so their son could marry her.

An Orda correspondent learned about what happened in the village of Kyzylasker, while preparing material about a new article regarding the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which should toughen punishment for kidnapping women for the purpose of marriage.

In mid-July, Asel went to her mother’s. She was abducted on the street by a young man and his relatives. The young woman was forced to stay in their house for several days. There was no discussion of an official wedding. The victim's relatives have accused the Jambyl region police of inaction.

When the girl's relatives did not receive help from law enforcement officers, they reached out to “NeMolchi” (DontBeSilent -Ed.).

In the Almaty region, a girl, 20 years old, was kidnapped right from the yard when she was shaking out carpets. But she and her relatives are to blame (face palm emoji is in original text - Ed.), wrote Dina Tansari.

Grandma to The Rescue

Nurshash Zhanbekova's grandmother raised Asel since she was two months old. She got her out of the young woman's home village and took her in. 

Asel is my son's daughter. When she was born, her mother drank a lot and led a disorderly lifestyle. I began to raise the girl myself, and (her - Ed.) mother was glad to get rid of this burden. I think she's involved in what happened recently. Sold (her - Ed.) daughter like a sheep. Of course, (she - Ed.) didn’t suffer, didn't run to hospitals with her. She's like a stranger to her. When I hadn't known about her birth yet, she gave Asel to a Baby's House. It's good that her older sister found out and got her. Then I learned (about this - Ed.) and took her in. 

The grandmother, however, did not stop Asel from talking to her mother. On the contrary, she always said, no matter what kind of mother she is, she is still a mother.

The woman says that Asel is well-behaved and graduated from college with a high level of academic achievement. According to her, her granddaughter’s mother by this time had not been drinking for a while. When the girl decided to visit her mother, Nurshash did not dissuade her:

Asel always spoke freely with her neighbors. She went out into the yard to shake out the carpets when she was taken. The neighbors just took her and brought her to their place.

The kidnappers turned out to be neighbors who live nearby. They took away the girl's phone and college diploma and for some reason put someone else's dress on her:

The kidnapper has a sister Guldana, she lives with him, (she - Ed.) has a medical degree. She took advantage of this and all the while, when they had Assel, drugged her with unknown drinks. Whether it was tea or something else, (my - Ed.) granddaughter says that they tasted strange. Because of it, she has a bad memory of what happened and half the time was in a semi-conscious state. 

Nurshash learned about the abduction from Asel's mother, who called and said that her daughter had been taken:

She was happy, maybe she had made the conclusion that Asel was kidnapped to get married. And, perhaps, she sold her daughter herself and received the money. I don't know for sure. But she was happy and knew perfectly well who had Asel. At the same time, she did not offer to come over to mine and she did not try to influence the situation in any way, everything suited her.

Asel’s grandmother, aunt, and a male relative went to rescue the girl, but it ended up being met with resistance. Relatives of the kidnapper, according to the woman, started a fight:

The fight was terrible. Unfortunately, we didn't manage to record anything. The goal was to get (my - Ed.) granddaughter. (Every - Ed.) minute counted. They rushed at us with knives, twisted (our - Ed.) arms. Asel's Aunt was hit several times on the head with a metal object. Later, she was diagnosed with a concussion. We barely managed to lock the doors in the car and get away. You know, like in action movies: get on the highway and run.
Doctor's report. Photo of the document provided by Nurshash Zhanbekova

According to the victim's aunt, her niece’s abductor also made advances:

Asel was subjected not only to psychological pressure, but also to sexual harassment. The abductor tried to persuade her to have sexual intercourse using obscene expressions and physical contact.

Relatives, however, did not find any physical traces. Nothing is known about the substances with which Asel was allegedly drugged either. There was no medical examination.

The Police Didn't Come

The girl's relatives claim that the Jambyl district police ignored their call and did not come. Asel’s things taken by the neighbors have not been returned. Meanwhile, the kidnapper roams free. Asel's relatives say the man is mentally ill.

Asel’s Aunt has made an appeal to the Commissioner for Human Rights. Unfortunately, she has not received an answer:

In my appeal, I said that when the police were questioning Asel, the district police officer of the Jambyl district of the Almaty region illegally interfered in the process. He corrected the interrogation protocol and pressured the investigator and us. However, the investigator also pressured us. He said that we were misleading the investigation and a criminal case could be opened against us under the article - "Knowingly False Reports". As a result, an administrative offense case was initiated against the victim and her relatives under part 1 of Article 73 and part 1 of Article 434 of the Code of Administrative Violations of the Republic of Kazakhstan. We also appealed to the Almaty region’s prosecutor's office, but so far there are no results.

The girl's relatives filed a statement about the police's illegal actions.

Document provided by Nurshash Zhanbekova

Asel's mother also filed a statement. She accused her relatives of forcibly abducting her daughter and sided with the neighbors.

Describing this story in her blog, Dina Tansari called on the Prosecutor General's Office and the leadership of the Jambyl district police precinct to intervene. Nothing has changed since August 3, though.

Screenshot of Dina Tansari's Instagram post

Mom Was Happy

An Orda correspondent talked to the young woman. Asel says her mother sold her to their neighbors. And this is not her first "matchmaking" attempt:

I didn't have a very good relationship with my mom, she always blamed me, called me selfish, said that it would have been better to have had an abortion. This isn't the first time she's tried to marry me off. I always refused, and after that I did not visit her and did not talk (to her - Ed.). I think she got a dowry for me, as we say "Qalyn Mal". I do not know why she wrote the statement, but my grandmother always treated her very well and helped her with everything. 

The young girl says that she went to the village because her mother invited her. The victim did not know her neighbors well, but fear was present:

I rarely saw the guy who took me. Serikbai was very often in a mental hospital. One day I was following my sister to school, and he ran after me, (he - Ed.) wanted to hit me. He almost did it. After that, I was afraid to go to my mom’s.

The girl also says that her kidnappers drugged her with drinks, which made her dizzy and confused:

They gave me some tea, took me to the bedroom and left me there. I started feeling unwell. The children and Serikbai were sitting by me all the time. I wanted to leave, but I was afraid they wouldn't let me go. They took my phone from me, they knew that I would write to my grandmother about the abduction. I managed to write about everything to a friend. When she started calling, they just snatched my phone away.

Asel remembers that her family came to her rescue in the evening of that day. The young woman says that she cried and asked them for forgiveness.

(My - Ed.) mom was walking around and was happy at that time. She called the kidnappers and said, 'This is not what we agreed on with you,' and the sister of this guy told her, 'Marzhan-tate, you are so quick to take your words back.'

Asel's relatives left for help, realizing they were outmatched. Asel had to stay in the kidnappers' house for the night:

Serikbai lay down next to me, started hugging and kissing me. Then he started making advances towards me. I asked him not to do what he couldn't. My persuasions worked and I even fell asleep, but by morning it all happened again. I also had to ask him not to touch me. 

By 11 o'clock, Adel’s relatives returned with her uncle. Then, according to the young woman, a fight broke out:

My uncle tried to get me out of the room, but those people pressed me up against the wall. There were a lot of people in the house. About fifteen people. I lost consciousness from being pressed hard and came to from the yelling. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Guldana (the kidnapper's sister) holding a kitchen knife. I extended my hands out for my aunt to help me escape, but it didn't work, I was forcibly taken into the bedroom again. I remember turning around and seeing an image: my aunt being beaten on the head with an iron object, and my grandmother being choked. I started crying and screaming, I kept asking why they were doing this.

Asel’s relatives managed to call the police, but no one responded to the call:

"But when the kidnapper's sister called her friend from the police, he came right away."
He began pressuring my parents and me, saying, ‘you came yourself, stay here.’ They were helping the kidnappers, not us. When my family got me out of the house, the neighbors again tried to take me. At that time, I lost consciousness and woke up at home.

The girl began to receive messages and calls from the family. They said that she had come to their house no longer a virgin, that she was lying and everything was her idea. The abductor's mother also threatened to kill herself.

I always went to theirs only with my mother and never wanted to be a Kelin (Kazakh word that means daughter-in-law - Ed.) in their house. After that, they started following me. I saw their car at our house several times. I was afraid to go outside, and at the moment, I'm afraid of the opposite sex, says Asel.

The young woman says that her mother does not use drugs or alcohol. Everything that was done was done deliberately.

No Moving Forward 

Dina Tansari also spoke with Asel and shared her version on her blog. The Foundation has organized a fundraiser for the family's lawyer on Instagram.


Asel's grandmother has no money for a lawyer, as she receives only 70 thousand tenge as a pension (roughly 151 USD - Ed.).

At the moment, according to the relatives, all the indictment materials have been transferred to an administrative court.

On the morning of August 16, Asel’s Grandmother contacted our editorial office again. She said that on August 17, the Jambyl district police department had invited them to an in-person questioning:

(My - Ed.) granddaughter is scared, she has already experienced shock. I know that they will try to break Asel, they will pressure her. We don't have a lawyer. I do not know what to hope for.
Screenshot of Dina Tansari's Instagram post

The next day Nurshash informed us that they ended up waiting at the police department.

We were told to arrive at three o'clock. We sat around until four. But there was no reaction from the investigator. When we approached to ask if the suspect had been called in, we were told: "Wait, it will be necessary – you will wait another six months. 

At the moment, Orda.kz has sent a request to the Almaty region’s PD regarding the situation, we are waiting for their comments and will publish them as soon as we receive a response.

Original Author: Yuri Nizhnynovgorodsky

DISCLAIMER: This is a translated piece. The text has been modified, the content is the same. Please refer to the original article in Russian for accuracy. The article was initially posted on 21/8/2023

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