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Israel: Orthodox rabbi suspected of having enslaved 50 women

The man, an ultra-Orthodox rabbi, is said to have enslaved around 50 women, in addition to their young children, who lived in a religious community in a residential complex. from Jerusalem. He was arrested on Monday by Israeli police.

The police authorities did not reveal the identity of the man, who they say is about sixty years old, but assured that he will remain in preventive detention for the next seven days. The Israeli had already been arrested in 2015 and quickly released for similar suspicions, but new elements favored his arrest, according to a police statement.

Eight women alleged accomplices arrested

“As the investigation progresses, investigators have found evidence in the past two months to suggest that the suspect has absolute control over the lives of approximately 50 people who live in a residential complex and who are all subject at will and isolated from their families, “said the police.

The man is a “rabbi” and led a “closed community” in “conditions of slavery,” said another police source. He is suspected of “miscellaneous crimes against women and their children”, some of whom are believed to be under the age of five, she added.

The suspects are being questioned on suspicion of “slavery” and “harassment,” police said, adding that 8 women were also arrested on suspicion of having cooperated with the man, who lives in an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem.

Suspected sexual abuse

Women and their children lived crammed into this residential complex serving as a religious “seminary”, police officials said. Police also suspect man of “full” wages from alleged victims, while that the Israeli media also report possible cases of sexual abuse in this case.

In mid-November, ultra-orthodox women had launched a vast campaign to combat domestic violence in these communities representing approximately 10% of the nine million Israelis, often living in isolation, according to their interpretation of the precepts of the Jewish religion.

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