10 07 2008

In Albania, the Kanun, a set of laws developed in the 15th century and still used today, promotes the practice of eye for an eye through a provision that deals with blood fueds. Thousands of Albanian men are forced to remain indoors out of fear of having revenge enacted upon them for a crime a relative has committed.

By tradition, any man old enough to wield a hunting rifle is considered a fair target for vengeance, making 17 male members of Christian’s family vulnerable. They, too, are stuck in their homes. The sole restriction is that the boundaries of the family home must not be breached. Women and children also have immunity, though some, like Christian, who physically matured at an early age, begin their confinement as boys. Family members of the victim are usually the avengers, though some families outsource the killing to professional contract killers.

[NYTimes]

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