An 18-year-old woman from Tajikistan committed suicide this week, after her future husband forced her to take multiple virginity tests and demanded a second wife.
Rajabbi Khurshed was found dead just 40 days after her arranged marriage to 24-year-old Zafar Pirov. She took her own life by drinking a lethal dose of vinegar.
According to Radio Free Europe, Khurshed was forced to undergo a state sanctioned prenuptial medical exam that included a virginity test. While optional, it is custom in Tajikistan for the families of both the bride and the groom to demand the bride take the examination.
Khurshed took the exam, passed, and received a certificate from her doctor. But Pirov refused to accept the results, demanding she “tell the truth.”
He forced her to undergo several more exams, and eventually demanded a second wife, saying Khurshed was not a virgin when they arranged their marriage.
Khurshed’s family says that on her deathbed she admitted to crumbling under the pressure of Pirov’s demands for a second wife.
Pirov stands trial for potentially forcing his wife to kill herself, and potentially faces 8 years in prison if found guilty. He also faces a travel ban for his actions. But he remains adamant Khurshed’s family is lying.
“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,” he said.
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