Swedish mom denies locking up daughters

2015-02-21 07:00

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Stockholm - A woman arrested in Sweden on suspicion of locking up her three daughters for several years was released from custody on Friday.

Police broke into the apartment and arrested the 59-year-old woman in the southern town of Bromoella on Thursday, saying she had restricted her children's freedom "for quite a few years".

"The daughters have been detained against their will but the question is whether it is punishable under the law," prosecutor Paar Andersson told public broadcaster SVT.

"She did not lock them in, it was psychological coercion, some sort of lock-in effect."

According to tabloid Expressen, one of the now adult children - reportedly in their 20s and early 30s - briefly left the small two-room apartment and told a neighbour she had been locked up for over a decade.

The probe is still ongoing and the district court in Kristianstad said the woman was still under investigation.

"My client denies any crime. She has not in any way limited the plaintiffs' movements," her lawyer Thomas Ljungdahl told AFP.

An eyewitness to the arrest told newspaperAftonbladet that one of the daughters was barely able to walk and had to be helped out of the apartment.

"The three adult women [daughters] have been taken in by social services," said police spokesperson Ewa-Gun Westford.

The woman reportedly moved her daughters around the country for almost 20 years in an effort to keep them away from their father following a divorce.

An education official in the northern ski resort town of Aare told Aftonbladet that they did not attend school despite being registered as living in the area for a decade from 2001.

"It appears that she had prevented the children from going to school in the past," Westford confirmed to AFP.

"We have to go back in time now and find out where they have been staying and under what circumstances."

Read more on:    sweden

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