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Southern Kyrgyz Village To Judge Criminals

A farmer herds his sheep and goats Kyrgyystan's Suusamyr Valley
A farmer herds his sheep and goats Kyrgyystan's Suusamyr Valley
KENESH, Kyrgyzstan -- People in a southern Kyrgyz village say they will handle criminal cases by themselves after being frustrated by local police and courts, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Villagers in Kenesh, in the Osh region, said on September 9 at a local gathering of elders that they have decided to "fight crime themselves without the involvement of the police and local courts."

They said it was decided that "from now on anyone caught stealing livestock or committing any other kind of crime will not be handed over to police but a special public commission will deal with the case."

RFE/RL reports that the elders' gathering was attended by local government officials and deputies from the local council.

The villagers said they decided to adopt such measures after an incident earlier this month in which a man was caught by locals while stealing six sheep from a local farmer.

The suspect was later arrested by police and went to trial. The villagers became angered when the man accused of stealing the livestock was acquitted by a local court.

Locals say that in the past year more than 100 sheep and goats and almost two dozen cows were stolen from farmers in Kenesh.

Read more in Kyrgyz here