In Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan Victims of Domestic Violence are Denied Access to the Courts
Friday, August 5, 2005 3:10 PM

In Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, mahalla committees, traditional forms of self-government organized around Islamic rituals and social events, are now coercing battered women to remain in abusive marriages. Human Rights Watch has documented cases where the mahalla have prevented domestic violence victims from accessing the court legal system. Mahalla committees rely on intimidation tactics, refusing to give married women permission to divorce and blaming them for the violence they suffer.

In countries such as Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, many young married women, finding no other recourse, choose to escape from domestic violence through suicide, often by self-immolation.

Compiled from: In Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, the authorities have restored community institutions such as the mahalla - a traditional form of self-government - and the court of elders, Anara Tabyshalieva, NEWW (2005).