3 women freed in UK after being held against their will for at least 30 years
Aneeta Prem, founder of Freedom Charity, speaks during an interview in central London, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. Freedom Charity helped to rescue three women from a house in south London who were held as slaves for 30 years. London Metropolitan Police spoke about the rescues after two people were arrested early Thursday on suspicion of forced labor and domestic servitude. Those freed on Oct. 25, 2013 are a 69 year old Malaysian woman, a 57 year old Irish woman and a 30 year old British woman, police said. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
LONDON Three women who were freed from a London home after 30 years had been allowed outside in controlled circumstances during their ordeal but were victims of in simple terms, a senior British police officer said Friday.
Commander Steve Rodhouse described a and disturbing picture of emotional control over many years in the case of the women, declining to say how they wound up in the south London home. Two suspects, a man and a woman, were arrested early Thursday on suspicion of forced labour and domestic servitude.
He said investigators are trying to figure out were the invisible handcuffs that were used to exert such control tiffany for the 30 years the women were allegedly held captive and subject to physical, mental and emotional abuse.
is not as brutally obvious as women being physically restrained inside an address and not being allowed to leave, Rodhouse said. may have appeared to be a normal family. disclosure Thursday that a 69 year old Malaysian, a 57 year old Irish woman and a 30 year old Briton were freed after apparently spending 30 years in captivity prompted a flurry of speculation and questions about how such a tragedy escaped notice for so long.
The arrests were made after the Irish woman phoned a charity last month to say she was being held against her will along with two others. The charity engaged in a series of secretive conversations with the women and contacted police. Two of the women eventually left the house, and police rescued the third.
The case has sent shockwaves throughout Britain and around the world, but is the latest horrifying case of a broader phenomenon that officials warn is still happening and on the rise.
of modern slavery are becoming more prevalent in Europe, said Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, the European Union law enforcement agency. Europol is committed to fostering stronger international police action in this area and to raising greater levels of public attention. the most recent expansions of the EU and the lifting of restrictions on employment in many countries, instances of situa tiffany tions which amount to forced labour have increased, Europol says.
Anti slavery charity The Walk Free Foundation last month released a global index that estimated that more than 29 million people live in some form of modern slavery which can take the form of domestic servitude, forced marriages, child trafficking and forced labour. a country which had the lowest estimated prevalence of slavery in a ranking of 162 countries.
Fiona David, of Walk Free, said Friday that the most recent case in London highlights that slavery can be perpetrated by people living in the neighbourhood, not necessarily criminals. suspects both 67 have also been questioned on suspicion of immigration offences, police said. Regarding their identity, police would only say that the suspects were not British and had been in the country for years. They would not elaborate on the pair nationalities, but did note that both had been arrested in the 1970s. Police did not say why.
Both suspect tiffany s have been released on bail, having surrendered their passports and agreed not to return to their house as part of the tiffany ir bail conditions.
Police say they do not believe there are other victims in the case, and they are confident that they know the true identities of the three women. The relationships among the women and between the women and the suspects are under investigation, police said.
we do not believe that they have been subjected to sexual abuse, we know that there has been physical abuse, described as beatings, said Kevin Hyland, head of the Metropolitan Police human trafficking unit.
He and Rodhouse defended the lapse in time between Oct. 25 when the women gained freedom and the arrests, saying that the case is complicated and investigators must be careful to ensure they do not further traumatize the victims as they unravel the events of the past 30 years.
Hyland also urged patience as the case unfolds, noting that officers must sift through 55 bags of evidence seized in a search of the home, interview several people and follow up numerous strands.
Last month, an 84 year old man was jailed for repeatedly raping a deaf and mute girl he trafficked into Britain from Pakistan and kept as a virtual slave.