Is sex trafficking behind the tragic death of a Kazakh citizen in Georgia?
Tbilisi City Court has arrested a 57-year-old man on charges of rape and causing the subsequent suicide of a citizen of Kazakhstan.
The Georgian Interior Ministry detained the suspect on May 6. The preliminary investigation found that the suspect first raped the girl, then subjected her to psychological abuse and threatened to kill her, following which, the citizen of Kazakhstan, in a severe state of psychological trauma, committed suicide by jumping out of a window from the eighth floor.
Due to the fact that the case concerns sexual violence, the preliminary hearing of the case was held in a closed format. The prosecution demanded the accused be held in custody pending the completion of the investigation, arguing that there would be a danger of withholding the details of the case, destroying evidence and influencing witnesses.
The suspect was not represented by lawyers as the articles under which the case is tried do not imply their obligatory participation. Thus, no petition in his defence was filed and the trial is due to resume on June 23rd.
Media reports say that the deceased, 26-year-old Asel Aytpayeva, arrived in Georgia for work in April this year. Asel was sexually, physically, and psychologically abused, and shortly before her death, she managed to record it in an audio message and send it to her friends.
Only two people appear in the recording – the deceased Aysel Aipayeva and the accused Besik Tordua. Tordua can be heard threatening the young woman with death, subjecting her to both psychological and physical violence, and admitting that he raped her.
The audio recording, which is now being studied by the prosecution, may also become indirect evidence of the existence of a network of traffickers in Georgia and the sexual exploitation of women.
The Rustavi-2 TV channel aired a small part of this audio recording. On it, you can hear a woman’s voice talking to someone named Beso, who insults her and urges her to throw herself out of the window.
“I’ll scald you… what, do you want to jump out of the window? Why don’t you jump? Go on!”, a man in the recording says in Russian.
Could Asel Aytpayeva be a victim of trafficking?
26-year-old Asel Aytpayeva arrived in Georgia a few weeks ago to work in one of the local car companies and, presumably, that’s when she was lured by the traffickers.
The investigation of rape followed by suicide is being conducted under section 2 of Article 135 and subparagraph B of section 1 of Article 115 of the Criminal Code of Georgia. The suspect may be facing 8-10 years in prison.
The tragic death of the citizen of Kazakhstan was commented on by Baya Pataraya, head of the Sapari, women’s human rights organization.
“I suspect trafficking is behind the suicide of the Kazakh girl. The investigation must pay attention to all the details and find out whether the accused was sexually exploiting the girl. In the short recording I heard, this man really comes across as a trafficker. A thorough investigation is required. The charges of human trafficking are more serious than those of violence against a woman”, Baya Pataraya said.