3 women rescued after 30yrs in captivity, London police say
Three women were rescued from a south London house where they were believed to have been held captive for more than 30 years in a “barbaric” ordeal, authorities said Thursday.
A man and a woman, both 67, were arrested “as part of an investigation into slavery and domestic servitude,” the city’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
Officers rescued a 69-year-old Malaysian woman, 57-year-old Irish woman, and 30-year-old British woman after receiving a call in October from a domestic abuse non-profit organization called Freedom Charity.
“All three women, who were highly traumatized, were taken to a place of safety where they remain,” the statement added.
“We applaud the actions of Freedom Charity and are working in partnership to support these victims who appear to have been held for over 30 years,” Detective Inspector Kevin Hyland, from the Met’s Human Trafficking Unit said.
“We have launched an extensive investigation to establish the facts surrounding these very serious allegations.”
Hyland said a documentary on forced marriages relating to the work of Freedom Charity had prompted one of the women to call for help, claiming she had been held against her will in the house for 30 years.
The Met statement added: “Further enquiries by police revealed the location of the house and with the help of sensitive negotiations conducted by the charity the three women.”
A Met Police spokesman told NBC News that no further details were available.
Speaking on Sky News, Aneeta Prem, founder of the Freedom Charity, said the three women agreed to contact the charity after they saw her speaking on television.
“That gave them the courage to make that phone call,” she said. “It was very difficult for them, but they managed to get to a phone.
“We talked to them when we could. It had to be a secret because they felt they were in massive danger and with the help of the police we were able to get them out.”
She described the women’s ordeal as “barbaric” and said they were “terrified” of their captors. “I can’t believe human beings can treat each other in that way,” she added.
Prem said that the house in which they were kept was an “ordinary house in an ordinary street that would not raise concerns.”
“They did have rooms that they could use but they were very restricted.”
Source NBC NEWS