Tajik Man Sentenced To Prison For Driving Bride To Suicide

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A court in Tajikistan has sentenced a man to prison after convicting him of driving his 18-year-old wife to suicide in June amid the couple's arguments over her virginity.

Court officials in Tajikistan's southern Vose district told RFE/RL on August 24 that Zafar Pirov, 24, had been sentenced to seven years in prison. It is not clear when exactly the sentence was pronounced.

Pirov's wife, Rajabbi Khurshed, took her own life 40 days into her arranged marriage after her husband accused her of not being a virgin on their wedding night, according to relatives.

Khurshed had passed a virginity test, which is technically optional but is routinely demanded of young women by either or both families before weddings in Tajikistan.

Pirov, however, forced her to undergo two further tests and rejected doctors' conclusions that Khurshed was a virgin on their wedding night.

According to Khurshed's family, she said on her deathbed that she was under enormous pressure from her husband and "couldn't take it any longer."

Khurshed took a fatal dose of vinegar on June 22 and died in hospital hours later, the family and doctors say.

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