“What nonsense – rape of a wife”. With tears in her eyes, Nadezhda Antokhina states her daughter’s statement regarding being raped by her husband was not taken seriously by Atyrau police and prosecutors. Three months later her daughter’s husband once again brutally raped her and then killed her. Nadezhda who is a resident of the Atyrau region says her daughter would be alive had the law enforcement officers done their job properly.
In September 2018, 19- year old Ainur Kanatkaliyeva from the Makat district married 21-year old Ali Kankozhiyev from the Zhylyoi region. Initially, the young couple who lived in a rented apartment in Atyrau and already had a small child appeared to get along together. Soon the man began to drink and physically abuse his wife. In one incident, after he cut her Achilles tendon with a broken bottle, she underwent surgery in the regional hospital. Ainur together with her young daughter left her husband and moved to her mother’s rented apartment. When she refused to return to her abusive husband, also telling him she would be filing for divorce, he threatened to kill her. On 14 November last year, he entered the apartment, beat Ainur unconscious and raped her.
After regaining consciousness Ainur went to the city police department and laid a statement of rape. The police seized her underwear and a blanket which the rape took place upon. However, they did not take her for a forensic medical examination and later a package containing evidential material mysteriously disappeared.
Due to inaction of the police, Ainur wrote a statement to the then acting Atyrau prosecutor, Abzal Sakhipov, also to the head of the Police Investigative Department, Nurmukhamber Mutaliev, to no avail.
Meanwhile, Ali Kankozhiyev who no one appeared to be looking for, succeeded in his attempts to find out the new residence of his wife. In February of this year, after cunningly asking another person to knock on the door, he entered her apartment. Demanding she return to live with him, he threatened to kill her immediately if she didn’t. After Ainur refused to return, he attacked her, beating and brutally raping her. Despite Ainur telling him she was pregnant with her second child, Kankozhiev strangled her using a belt from a bag. He then left, tragically ending this six-month story of “marital beatings and rape”.
Soon after, Kankozhiyev was detained by police and six months later, a specialized inter-district criminal court in Atyrau found him guilty under Articles 99 (Murder) and 120 (Rape) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison – 14 for murder and 2 for rape.
“This is the fault of the police and prosecutors. If they had responded properly in a timely fashion, my daughter would be alive. Just 3 days before the murder, she wrote another statement to law enforcement begging them to save her. This didn’t need to happen”, says Nadezhda Antokhina, who took custody of her granddaughter who was left without a mother.
“Many of Us Think of a Wife as an Object”
I told this story to the leader of the movement «НеМолчи.кз» (#metoo analogue) Dina Smailova, who is fighting against family violence including sexual violence. She is the one who helped Talgo train passenger achieve a harsher sentence after she was raped by train conductors. During our conversation, Dina emphasized that the tragedy with Ainur Kanatkalieva was not accidental and was, directly related to backward, uncivilized social stereotypes and imperfect legislation.
“What happened to the young woman cannot be undone and note the sentence for rape - only 2 years. It was the impunity of the abusive husband that ultimately lead to the murder. Unfortunately, in our country, the laws make it very difficult to prove rape and the punishment is too lenient.
There is also our mentality with many Kazakh men perceiving their wife as property, with which you can do anything. Law enforcement officials generally have similar perceptions, not taking seriously a woman’s claim of rape by her husband and often refusing to accept such statements.
I believe that in the wake of the murder of Ainur Kanatkalieva, it is necessary to severely punish those who connived with the future killer. I think these people were accomplices in the crime”.
From the latest news, the Prosecutor’s Office has appealed the verdict against Kankozhiev regarding the rape, considering the sentence imposed for it as too lenient.
by Farkhat Abilov