Former Russian Minister Live-streamed Trial for Beating Wife to Death Sparks Outrage

Former Russian Minister Kuandyk Bishimbayev is currently standing trial for beating his wife Saltanat Nukenova, to death in the VIP room of a restaurant in Kazakhstan’s largest city.

The ongoing murder trial, which is being livestreamed over social media like a dark reality show, has gripped not only Kazakhstan but also Russia and beyond and led to debate about traditional gender roles.

Bishimbayev, 44, had acknowledged causing her death, but said he had not acted “with exceptional cruelty”, which is what he has been charged with.

Surveillance footage shows him viciously punching and kicking Nukenova in the restaurant, which is owned by his family, before dragging her by the hair to a separate room, where there were no cameras.

As she lay dying in the suite, covered in her blood, Bishimbayev phoned a fortune-teller, who assured him his wife would be fine.

When an ambulance finally arrived 12 hours later, Nukenova was pronounced dead at the scene.

Nukenova’s friends and family revealed that over the year they were together, she suffered prolonged physical and mental abuse at the hands of Bishimbayev, whom she tried leaving several times.

Amid the public outcry, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on April 15 signed new law making striking women and children a criminal offence punishable by jail time.

Previously, most instances of domestic violence were treated as lesser, civil infractions.

Police have been instructed to investigate all cases concerning domestic violence, even those the victim did not report.
But the new law has met pushback from male lawmakers.

According to the United Nations, about 400 women die from domestic abuse in the country each year.

This figure could be higher, however, as some cases go unreported.

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