This is completely heartbreaking.
Women around the world plan for their wedding day. The perfect dress, cake, but most importantly they wait for the perfect person.
But for 18-year-old Rajabbi Khurshed the countdown to her wedding were the worst days of her life.
Her family had arranged an engagement to a man she had never met before. After she married 24-year-old Zafar Pirov, he submitted her to a number of humiliating ‘virginity tests.’
After Khurshed passed the exam, Pirov did not believe the results and demanded a second bride.
Now the man from Tajikistan has been charged with driving his wife to commit suicide. Rajabbi Khurshed killed herself by drinking a lethal dose of vinegar .
She tragically took her life 40 days after her wedding to 24-year-old Zafar Pirov.
Pirov admits he pressured his young bride to take two further virginity exams – despite her passing the first one.
It is the law for women in Tajikistan to undergo such medical exams before their weddings. In this society casual sex is frowned on.
Speaking to Radio Free Europe, Khurshed’s family – who arranged the marriage – said their daughter told them on her deathbed she felt massive pressure by her new husband.
When Pirov’s demanded a second wife she ‘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.’
But Kurshed’s mother Fazila Mirzoeva has slammed Pirov’s harsh words. She says her daughter was a victim of ‘slander and violence.’
She has pleaded to the country’s president, Emomali Rahmon, for help.
She said her daughter, from the village of Chorbogh, had never had a boyfriend and had never had sex with anyone before the marriage.
The teen had dropped out of school to help care for her two disabled brothers, her mother added.
Pirov could face eight years in jail if found guilty of driving Kurshed to suicide.
Virginity tests for women before marriages are common in Tajikistan,
As of 2015, it is compulsory for both men and women to undergo medical check-ups before a wedding, but for women this often includes a test of ‘purity’.