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Author: The Editors
Page 16 ( 2 pages)
A wedding in Chechnya between a school girl and a local police chief this spring has scandalized Russia, raising questions about human rights in the Russian Caucasus republic, and its place in the country.
The marriage first came to light when friends of the bride-to-be, 17-year-old Kheda Goylabieva, sent out WhatsApp messages of alarm that she was being forcibly taken as the second wife of a man 40 years her senior – Colonel Nazhud Guchigov, who happened to be an influential official and acquaintance of Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov.
A reporter with Novaya Gazeta (one of Russia’s few truly independent newspapers) went to investigate, and the story snowballed. Yet instead of reprimanding the police chief (polygamy and marrying underage girls being illegal in both Chechnya and Russia), Kadyrov backed Guchigov.
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