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Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Bishkek demands effective police

From Reuters AlertNet:

change of regime and subsequent upheaval in the Kyrgyz capital has changed the attitude of many local residents towards the country's police force.

Prior to the fall of deposed Kyrgyz president Askar Akayev's regime on 24 March, many Bishkek residents considered law enforcement officials inefficient and corrupt. As night fell on the city at the end of that day, many Bishkek residents found themselves without police protection. Officers kept a low profile and looters ransacked the city.

In April, illegal land seizures around Bishkek were a cause of great concern to residents of the capital and tension was increase by the distribution of leaflets allegedly targeting ethnic minorities. These events highlighted the need for a strong, transparent police service, accountable to the people.

"We need the police, which will protect people's interests, not their own," Almaz, a Bishkek resident and a student of the Kyrgyz Technical University, told IRIN in the capital.

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