Text of report by Radio-Television Kosovo TV on 5 January
[Announcer] A group of Ferizaj [Urosevac] citizens have organized themselves and used force to close a dozen bars. They say that prostitutes were working in the bars and the owners were dealing in human trafficking.
[Reporter] Residents of a Ferizaj neighbourhood closed down ten bars, saying that prostitution was being conducted there. They had sent a petition to the Kosovo Police Service and municipal officials, but according to the residents nothing was undertaken. On 1 January the residents organized themselves and used force to close down all these bars.
[Resident of the neighbourhood, Vigan Hoxha] It is a straightforward matter, there was prostitution. In a lot of these bars women were working, and I as a resident of this neighbourhood together with all the other residents were forced to act. We simply evicted them.
[Reporter] The bars are owned by some of the residents living in the neighbourhood and as of January they will not receive their rent money from the shops, but according to them it is better not to get any money than for their neighbourhood to turn into a place where there is human trafficking.
[Another inhabitant of the neighbourhood] The young people of the neighbourhood got together and we reached a consensus to stop these things from happening in our neighbourhood regardless of the economic consequences. In time we believe that the good image of this neighbourhood will return.
[Reporter] Director of Municipal Inspectors Jahja Emini says that residents in the neighbourhood took the law into their own hands.
[Jahja Emini] If this has really happened, then in a sense the citizens have taken the law into their own hands, which is totally illegal. They should have notified us and we would then have passed on the information to the Kosovo Police Service. If we did not react, or do anything about this issue, they would have the right to request legal action through normal procedures.
[Reporter] The owners of these bars were citizens, of Kosovo, Albania, Bulgaria and other countries. The neighbourhood has been raided by police several times, but the bars would re-open as soon as the police left.
Ferizaj Municipality temporarily closed down five bars. This was not done because of the illegal activity of prostitution but because they did not fulfil hygiene standards.
Source: RTK TV, Pristina, in Albanian 1830 gmt 5 Jan 06