Ban women from WhatsApp and lock your wives up so they can’t post messages: How Chechnya leader responded to worldwide criticism over 17-year-old girl’s forced marriage to police chief
- Kheda Goilabiyeva wept during her marriage to ally of the Chechen leader
- She was reported to have been threatened with kidnap if she didn’t comply
- The heartbreaking story was shared across messenger service WhatsApp
- Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov has responded to international outrage
- He said husbands should ‘lock up’ wives and stop them using social media
Chechnya’s feared leader has told men to lock up their wives and ban them from using WhatsApp following international outrage over his ally’s forced marriage to a 17-year-old girl.
Heartbreaking images of a forlorn and teary-eyed Kheda Goilabiyeva were met with shock this week when it was revealed she had been threatened with kidnap and ‘unpleasant consequences’.
She was asked three times whether she wanted to marry 47-year-old police chief Nazhud Guchigov – who already has another wife – before finally and reluctantly responding yes.
Not the happiest day of her life: Chechen teenager Kheda Goilabiyeva clutches a passport as she looks down despondently after being forced to marry the ally of Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov
Ramzan Kadyrov himself was spotted within the crowd at their wedding ceremony, and the fearsome leader has now responded to condemnation of the debacle with chilling comments broadcast on state TV.
After news of the forced marriage spread across messenger service WhatsApp, he told a local broadcaster that husbands must control how their wives communicate.
According to the BBC, he said: ‘Lock them in, do not let them go out, then they will not post anything.
‘The family honour is the most important thing. Men, do take your women out of WhatsApp.’
The marriage provoked outrage in Russia, fuelled by Moscow’s child rights commissioner, Pavel Astakhov, who defended the wedding by saying that Caucasian women ‘are all shrivelled with wrinkles by the age of 27’. He later apologised for his comments.
In response to the remarks, young women online posted selfies on Instagram with the hashtag #WrinkledWoman in which they scrunched up their faces to simulate the appearance of wrinkles. Many of the posts include sarcastic greetings to Astakhov.
The woman behind the campaign appeared to be Bella Rapoport, a prominent Russian feminist writer, according to Instagram’s time stamps.
The second contributor appeared to be Tonia Samsonova, a popular journalist at Echo of Moscow with a large online social media following.
Within 12 hours, the hashtag attracted more than 120 contributions.