A man in Tajikistan has been charged with driving his wife to commit suicide amid allegations he pressured her into taking virginity tests and then demanded a second bride after disbelieving the results.
Rajabbi Khurshed, 18, killed herself by drinking a lethal dose of vinegar 40 days after her wedding to 24-year-old Zafar Pirov, who she had never met before the arranged marriage.
Despite her passing a government-required prenuptial exam – including a virginity test – Pirov admits he took his bride for a further two tests, both of which she passed and both of which he did not believe, before casting her out.
Speaking to Radio Free Europe, Khurshed’s family – who arranged the marriage – said their daughter told them on her deathbed that she had felt under massive pressure to accept Pirov’s demands for asecond wife and ‘couldn’t take it any longer’.
But in his defence, Pirov said: ‘My wife gave me a written statement that she allows me to get a second wife because she wasn’t a virgin when we got married.’
Kurshed’s mother, Fazila Mirzoeva, is so upset about her daughter’s death – who she said is a victim of ‘slander and violence’ – that she has pleaded to the country’s president, Emomali Rahmon, for help.
She said Kurshed had never had a boyfriend and had never had sex with anyone. The teen had dropped out of school to help care for her two disabled brothers, her mother added.
Despite Kurshed passing this test and obtaining a doctor’s certificate of her virginity – as well as the two other tests – Pirov continued to press his bride and demand she reveal the ‘truth’. It was just weeks later than he made clear his desire to bring a second wife into the home.