Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Kyrgyzstan Criminalizes Religious Marriage of Minors

According to Interfax, in Kyrgyzstan last week, President Almazbek Atambayev signed amendments to the country's Family and Criminal Codes banning religious consecration of marriages involving minors.  The new law makes it a criminal offense to enter into marriage with a minor and extends criminal punishment of 3 to 5 years in prison to both clergy and parents who participate in the religious marriage ceremony.  In recent years, increasing numbers of young girls in Kyrgyzstan have been married off in Muslim religious ceremonies, even though the marriage cannot be legally registered.