Jerusalem rabbi arrested for slavery after women found

Jerusalem rabbi arrested for slavery after women found
An Israeli flag flutters at Mount of Olives with the Old City of Jerusalem and its al Aqsa Mosque (L) on January 9, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 13 January 2020

Jerusalem rabbi arrested for slavery after women found

Jerusalem rabbi arrested for slavery after women found
  • The rabbi was detained on suspicion of running a “closed community” where women and children “worked under conditions of slavery”

JERUSALEM: A rabbi has been arrested in Jerusalem on suspicion of holding dozens of women and children in conditions of slavery, Israeli police said Monday.
The 60-year-old suspect was detained on suspicion of running a “closed community” where women and children “worked under conditions of slavery,” police said in a statement.
A two-month investigation was launched after officers received reports that the religious leader had for years committed “severe offenses” against those living at the residence, police said.
Some 50 women and a number of children under five were found when police raided the site, where victims were thought to have been isolated from the outside world.
A police video of the raid, in a central ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Jerusalem, showed cramped living quarters with bunk beds as well as piles of cash.
“The suspect also punished the women in different ways and stole money from them,” police said.
Eight women accused of aiding the rabbi were also detained and are being held on suspicion of slavery.
The arrests come after ultra-Orthodox women launched a campaign in November urging those in their community to speak up about domestic abuse.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews make up around 10 percent of Israel’s population and live in close-knit communities often closed off from wider society.


Tunisia arrests over 600, deploys troops after riots

Tunisia arrests over 600, deploys troops after riots
Updated 1 min 53 sec ago

Tunisia arrests over 600, deploys troops after riots

Tunisia arrests over 600, deploys troops after riots
TUNIS: More than 600 people have been arrested and troops have been deployed after a third consecutive night of riots in several Tunisian cities, officials said Monday.
The unrest came after Tunisia imposed a nationwide lockdown to stem a rise in coronavirus infections on Thursday — the same day as it marked the 10th anniversary of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s fall from power.
Interior ministry spokesman Khaled Hayouni said a total of 632 people were arrested, notably “groups of people between the ages of 15, 20 and 25 who burned tires and bins in order to block movements by the security forces.”
Defense ministry spokesman Mohamed Zikri meanwhile said the army has deployed reinforcements in several areas of the country.
Hayouni said that some of those arrested lobbed stones at police and clashed with security forces.
“This has nothing to do with protest movements that are guaranteed by the law and the constitution,” said Hayouni.
“Protests take place in broad daylight normally... without any criminal acts involved,” he added.
Hayouni said two policemen were wounded in the unrest.
It was not immediately clear if there were injuries among the youths and Hayouni did not say what charges those arrested faced.
The clashes took place in several cities across Tunisia, mostly in working-class neighborhoods, with the exact reasons for the disturbances not immediately known.
But it came as many Tunisians are increasingly angered by poor public services and a political class that has repeatedly proved unable to govern coherently a decade on from the 2011 revolution.
GDP shrank by nine percent last year, consumer prices have spiralled and one third of young people are unemployed.
The key tourism sector, already on its knees after a string of deadly jihadist attacks in 2015, has been dealt a devastating blow by the pandemic.
Tunisia has registered more than 177,000 coronavirus infections, including over 5,600 deaths since the pandemic erupted last year.
The four-day lockdown ended on Sunday night, but it was not immediately know if other restrictions would be imposed.


The army has deployed troops in Bizerte in the north, Sousse in the east and Kasserine and Siliana in central Tunisia, the defense ministry spokesman said.
Sousse, a coastal resort overlooking the Mediterranean, is a magnet for foreign holidaymaking that has been hit hard by the pandemic.
The health crisis and ensuing economic misery have pushed growing numbers of Tunisians to seek to leave the country.
On Sunday evening in Ettadhamen, a restive working-class neighborhood on the edge of the Tunisian capital, the mood was sombre.
“I don’t see any future here,” said Abdelmoneim, a waiter, as the unrest unfolded around him.
He blamed the violence on the country’s post-revolution political class and said the rioting youths were “bored adolescents” who reflected the “failure” of politicians.
Abdelmoneim said he was determined to take a boat across the Mediterranean to Europe “as soon as possible, and never come back to this miserable place.”
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