Teen bride forced to prove virginity kills herself after husband demands second wife

Published: July 14, 2017
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Zafar Pirov, 24, and Rajabbi Khurshed, 18. PHOTO: Radio Free Europe

Zafar Pirov, 24, and Rajabbi Khurshed, 18. PHOTO: Radio Free Europe

Rajabbi Khurshed, 18, was married off to Zafar Pirov, 24, in May, and 40 days after her wedding she killed herself when her husband accused her of not being a virgin after multiple tests and demanded to be allowed to take a second wife, Radio Free Europe reported.

Khurshed’s parents arranged for her wedding in the village of Chorbogh in Tajikistan to a man she had never met before. The Tajik state obliges women to undergo a prenuptial medical exam. This exam is optional, but upon the insistence of families, is carried out. The prenuptial exam includes a virginity test which Khurshed passed, but weeks after Pirov humiliated her and insisted on further virginity tests.

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He claimed he did not believe her and then demanded permission to take a second wife. This is when a despondent Khurshed seized the only opportunity she felt available to her — suicide. Her family said Khurshed told them on her deathbed that she had been under massive pressure from her husband since the night of their wedding and “couldn’t take it any longer”.

Khurshed, a high-school dropout who had sacrificed her education to help her parents look after two disabled brothers, drank, what the Tajik authorities say was, a fatal dose of vinegar. She died at a hospital in Chorbogh hours later. Her mother said she never had a boyfriend or any intimate relations with anyone.

She was a virgin, and there was a doctor’s certificate to prove it. She also claimed that her daughter was a victim of “slander and violence,” and said they were continually making public pleas to the president of Tajikistan and other officials to intervene and help preserve Khurshed’s memory.

Pirov, meanwhile, faces charges of driving his new wife to suicide and could face up to eight years in prison if found guilty. Speaking to the Radio Free Europe from Chorbogh, he defended himself and insisted that his new wife was not a virgin, and claimed, “she drank vinegar when I demanded that she go back to her parents’ home.”

Mandatory medical check-ups for both bride and groom were instituted in 2015 primarily to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and other sexually transmitted diseases, but they are frequently expanded to include virginity tests for women. Registrars can refuse to recognise a marriage if the couple fails to undergo the tests and provide the proper medical certificate.

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Khurshed had opted to undergo a so-called ‘purity’ test and received a doctor’s letter confirming the result. Pirov said he took his new wife to two different clinics, including one in the capital, Dushanbe, to undergo further tests to prove her purity. Both confirmed Khurshed’s virginity, but Pirov was adamant that the doctors were wrong and said he continued to demand that his bride “tell the truth.”

Eventually, just weeks into their marriage, he pressed his bride to let him bring a second wife into the household. “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,” Pirov told RFE/RL.

A Vose district court has imposed a travel ban on Pirov pending the trial, though no date has been set.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Saleem
    Jul 14, 2017 - 2:50PM

    These retarded beasts make women take virginity tests. They should themselves have virginity tests and IQ tests.Recommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Jul 14, 2017 - 2:54PM

    But I thought in Islam divorce was easy and even women can demand with equal authority . Life is too big for such frivolous things . Recommend

  • Feroz
    Jul 14, 2017 - 3:03PM

    Simply cannot understand why any woman will want to marry a man who wants her to undergo a virginity test.Recommend

  • Andrew
    Jul 14, 2017 - 4:04PM

    I am a man and yet I am ashamed to be a man. Is this the way that our better halves have to be treated just to please the male ego. This is ridiculous and such practices should be stopped the world over. International agencies and organizations for the protection of Women’s Rights should pressures the United Nations and all its members to implement better laws pertaining to the protection of Women’s rights and such laws should be enforced with all force. Women are our mothers, sisters and wives. This is not the way to treat someone just becoz a man wants to go around having sex with other women. No religion that I have studied or come across has any laws to protect the rights of women except lengthy statements about a woman’s duties. What right has any man got to treat a woman like this. Recommend

  • MJ-Sid
    Jul 15, 2017 - 5:08AM

    So many personality disorders are never diagnosed in our society. I am pretty sure that the man in the story had severe underlying psychological issues.Recommend

  • Mein
    Jul 15, 2017 - 9:22AM

    Well anyone who is offended by this news must consider OPEN MARRIEGE STLYE promoted by west. If a man likes and want to marry a virgin whats wrong with that?Recommend

  • Milind
    Jul 15, 2017 - 11:09AM

    Poor soul.. The guy is a beast and needs to be stonedRecommend

  • Shafaq
    Jul 15, 2017 - 2:12PM

    He must be mentally sick.Recommend

  • Sexton
    Jul 16, 2017 - 10:34PM

    There are psychlogically damaged people everywhere who know how to play the game in order to appear normal when they wish to. This young woman should have gone home, but this can be difficult in many environments, particularly Islamic environments.Recommend

  • Saleem ur Rasheed
    Jul 21, 2017 - 12:50AM

    This is insane, inhumane and completely unacceptable. Sacrifice your education, sacrifice your family and ultimately sacrifice a pure soul worth a million dollars. Afterall, she was his wife, to which both the parties had agreed to. In no case, this male dominance can be allowed to bully young innocent wife. The beastly husband needs a mental and psychological test if the poor girl needed virginity test.Recommend

  • Aftab
    Jul 25, 2017 - 12:32PM

    Really a shock full incident.out society need do a lot to stop such things.especially young people should be educated how to handle such situations​.Recommend

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