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Indian nuns freed in Spain after claims of convent slavery

Women had tried to leave cloister for years, police say
Indian nuns freed in Spain after claims of convent slavery
Published: January 28, 2016 04:49 AM GMT
Updated: January 28, 2016 04:52 AM GMT

Police are investigating claims that three Indian nuns have been cloistered in a convent in Spain against their will since the 1990s.

On Jan. 23, officers from Spain's National Police force arrived at the doors of the Convent of Madres Mercedarias de Santiago de Compostela in Plaza del Obradoiro and freed three nuns who claimed they had been "kept prisoner" within the walls of the convent for many years.

Police were sent in after a complaint was made to the immigration office that the Indian women were being held against their will in "conditions of virtual slavery" within the convent.

A former nun told Spanish media that the women had all arrived from India as teenagers to join the order, take their vows and work in a community where they could help the needy.

"But there was no studying nursing or helping people. Only silence and exhausting work from six in the morning until nightfall within a stone prison. And so passed the next 15 years," she said.

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