Kyrgyzstan considers tough measures to combat drug dealing and crime

On Oct. 7, Kyrgyz State National Security Committee Director Murat Sutalinov proposed that efforts to combat drug-dealing be guided by the principle of collective responsibility, and that those involved in the trade be stripped of their civil rights.

Masud Ali-Uulu

2009-10-12

KYRGYZSTAN — On Oct. 7, Kyrgyz State National Security Committee Director Murat Sutalinov proposed that efforts to tackle drug-dealing be guided by the principle of collective responsibility, and that those involved in the trade be stripped of their civil rights. This softened his Sept. 23 statements in favour of reinstating the death penalty and conducting public executions.

Speaking at a meeting of the Kyrgyz Security Council in Bishkek about the ineffectiveness of the methods used to combat drug-dealing and crime in general, Sutalinov proposed a number of unusual and tough measures that he believes will soon bear fruit.

He said, “We need to make it clear to drug barons - three or four in Chui Province, a few in Bishkek and no more than ten in Osh - that they are second-class citizens.”

“They should be stripped of their right to vote and their citizenship, their children should be prevented from attending school, and they themselves should be moved into rural areas and barred from entering cities. Should they get any closer than 50km, stringent measures should be taken,” Sutalinov said.

He also proposed that people should be punished for aiding and abetting drug-related offences. If one person is using drugs and another person is aware of this, both should be punished, he argued. He proposed that the same principle should be applied to members of organised criminal gangs. “If one gang member has committed an offence, we should lock up the entire gang.” Sutalinov acknowledged this was not a new idea, and that he had “not come up with anything particularly clever.”

Just two weeks ago, on Sept. 23, however, Sutalinov proposed that Kyrgyzstan “should not look back towards the West and the OSCE,” and that the death penalty, which was abolished in 1998, should be brought back. He added that executions should take place in public.

[24.kg, AkiPress.org, Lenta.ru, Ferghana.ru]

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