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Kyrgyzstan: Child Abduction Caught on Tape

Last week a spine-chilling video emerged out of Kyzl-Kiya, a provincial town in Kyrgyzstan's southern region of Batken. Uploaded on YouTube by Alex Li, a journalist at the youth news portal Kloop.kg, the footage from a CCTV camera appears to depict the abduction of a little girl by a woman in a crowded market place. The video has become a focal point for discussion on the country's largest internet forum, Diesel.

The child's mother, Umidi Imamdin kyzy, has accused [ru] police of not doing anything to find her 11-month-old baby. But some Kyrgyz netizens have suggested that Imamdin kyzy herself is guilty of neglect or even complicity in the kidnapping.

The video below shows (0.30) Imamdin kyzy hand over her daughter to an unknown woman while shopping at a jewellery stall. The woman plays with the child for some time before disappearing from the frame. After about five minutes, Imamdin kyzy realises (1.50) that the baby is gone and rushes to look for the child – in the opposite direction to the one taken by the alleged kidnapper. She soon returns (2.15), visibly panic-stricken.

Blaming the mother

Eldiyar Arykbaev, Kloop's Editor-in-Chief commented [ru] in disbelief:

Как мать могла оставить ребенка незнакомой женщине на целых 8 минут… Мне как-то смотреть даже больно для мозга было.

How could a mother leave her child with a woman she doesn't know for eight minutes [?]… It [was painful] to watch this.

Alex Li, who uploaded the the video, agreed [ru]:

Офигеть!!! Что за люди? Неужели, какие-то кольца могут так привлечь внимание, что про собственного ребенка забываешь?

Madness!!! What's wrong with these people? Can you actually be so much distracted by [shopping for] some kind of rings that you forget about your own child?

Timoha on the Diesel forum added [ru]:

имхо лишить родительских прав…на кой ляд отдавать подержать незнакомой тетке????

[In my humble opinion], the woman's parental rights should be removed… Why would she hand over [a baby] to an unknown woman?????

Other views

But another netizen, Gatin, stepped in [ru] to defend the mother and focus attentions on broader social ills:

Да хорош мать поносить…Разные ситуацию бывают, это общество гнилое такое, знает слабые места людей и где их можно подловить… убил бы эту тварь… как подумаю о моей дочери…

Stop blaming the mother… There can be different situations. This is about the society, it is rotten, people know other people's weaknesses and ways to make use of them. I would have killed [the abductor]. When I think of my own daughter….

Other Kloop readers and Diesel users agreed that anyone could have fallen victim to such a ploy. Yet, some netizens suspected that the mother herself was complicit in the kidnapping. Mmega posed [ru] the unthinkable question:

Продала? Заметает следы?

Has she sold [the baby]? Is she now covering up [the crime]?

Samboder agreed [ru]:

да мутит походу “мамаша-баткенская” что-то….. как можно подойти к незнакомой и спросить подержать мелкого?!……либо что-то мутят гнилое…очень гнилое…

Yes something is wrong with this “Batken [region in Kyrgyzstan]-mother”… How can one ask an unknown woman to hold a baby? …… Or something rotten, very rotten is happening here…

uDontKnowMe elaborated [ru]:

Больше смахивает на инсценировку и похоже на статью “торговля людьми или иная незаконная сделка”… а заявление о пропаже, ни что иное как уйти от ответственности…ИМХО

It looks like the whole thing has been staged, and resembles [something that would fall under] the [Criminal Code] article “human trafficking or other illegal transactions” … The statement about her loss is nothing but a duck out, IMHO.

Police in Batken continues to search for the child and the alleged kidnapper, while the video continues to provoke emotive discussions across the Kyrgyz internet. According a children's rights organization quoted by Kloop.kg, 40 children were kidnapped in Kyrgyzstan in the first four months of 2012 alone.

This post is part of the GV Central Asia Interns Project at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

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