25 October 2010, 16:55
Human rights commissioner says abuse did take place at Russian Orthodox monastery
Moscow, October 25, Interfax - An inquiry ordered by Russian human rights commissioner Vladimir Lukin has found that child abuse did take place at Vladimir region's Svyato-Bogolyubsky Monastery.
"The children who previously lived at the monastery told about the abuse they were subjected to by their teachers. They were hit multiple times, forced to do agricultural labor from 3 a.m. till 10 p.m. with 30-minute breaks for breakfast and lunch. They were locked up on the second floor of a cowshed, being deprived of food with only water and dry bread to eat for 16 days in a row. Corporal punishment with 12, 50, 70 strikes with a belt counted aloud by the teacher. Reading aloud psalms until 2 a.m. while having to wake up at 5:30 a.m.," Lukin's spokesperson said in a statement, citing the results of the inquiry.
Several boarders remained after the monastery was closed, the statement said.
"An 18-year-old girl quizzed by the commission said that she remained at the monastery voluntarily. She is studying in the 11th grade externally and has no passport, medical policy unlike many others who live at the monastery," it said.
The commission also found that after the monastery closed, "children were sent to a boarding school in the village of Mikhali and with a cadet corpus in the village of Raduzhny, and some of the children live with families and study at the Novoselskaya School externally.
"According to the monastery's abbess, some of the children were handed over to guardians and parents in other towns," the statement said.
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