Israeli police find second chained Bedouin man

2016-09-22 19:13


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Jerusalem - Israeli police said they found a man chained up in a desert Bedouin village on Thursday "in a state of neglect", the second such discovery in two days.

A reporter for Israeli public radio who visited the village of Hura, in southern Israel's Negev desert, spoke to the unidentified man, who he said was 34 and had been shackled by the leg in a hut for a year because of his mental illness.

A police statement said the man's brother had been detained for questioning as part of an investigation into the case.

A police spokesperson contacted by AFP said the man was found chained to an iron railing after "police were called in" but he could not immediately give further details.

The radio quoted the man's relatives as saying he had repeatedly been hospitalised for psychiatric treatment and then discharged, despite his practice of removing his clothes in front of women.

It said that in conservative Bedouin society such behaviour brought disgrace upon the family and relatives said it could have led to his killing in the name of family honour had he not been restrained.

The radio report said the man was examined and deemed fit to be released back into the community, and then returned home.

Manacled naked man

On Tuesday police stumbled across a Bedouin man elsewhere in the Negev when they heard cries coming from a shed during an operation to demolish structures built without planning permission.

They found a manacled naked man who claimed to have been confined for around 15 years.

An initial police investigation showed that the man's family had chained him due to his mental illness and because he had thrown stones at children, police said.

Israeli media reported that the 43-year-old man's face was covered in dirt and his hair and beard appeared as if they had not been cut in years. He was taken to hospital and social welfare authorities were notified.

About 300 000 Bedouins, the descendants of desert nomads, live in Israel, mainly in the Negev.

A large number live in unrecognised villages, often in deep poverty without connections to the electricity grid or water mains.

Israeli authorities regularly demolish unauthorised Bedouin structures they consider illegal and say they want to improve their living conditions.

Bedouins allege mistreatment, denouncing the demolitions and what they call forced relocations.

Read more on:    israel

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