Sweden jails couple for exorcism

2013-06-04 22:34

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Stockholm - A Swedish district court on Tuesday jailed a couple from the Democratic Republic of Congo for performing exorcisms on the woman's daughter, whom they considered to be a witch, by threatening and beating her.

It was the second Congolese couple in less than a month to be sentenced to prison for exorcism-related abuse in the western town of Boraas.

A man identifying himself as the father of the victim, but who was later shown to be her uncle, was on Tuesday sentenced to 22 months in prison for aggravated assault, unlawful coercion and for making threats.

The mother was sentenced to eight months behind bars for making threats.

The abuse took place between February 2007 and February 2008 when the girl was 10 years old.

She had told police of exorcism sessions where she was held down in bed and threatened with an electric cord, and forced to drink a mixture of detergent and urine. The girl was hospitalised after falling unconscious and vomiting blood.

The defendants, who denied the charges, were also ordered to pay 60 000 kronor (around €7 000) in damages to the girl.

On May 14, a Swedish appeals court jailed another couple from the Democratic Republic of Congo for having performed exorcisms on their daughter.

The girl told the court her arm had been cut with a burning knife to get her to confess her sins, and had her head shaved because "the spirit" was in her hair.

Read more on:    sweden

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