4 Nov 2012

Russian rights campaigners free 'slaves'

10:30 am on 4 November 2012

Rights campaigners in the Russian capital Moscow say they have freed 12 people who were being held as slaves.

Three young children, five women and four men, all from Central Asia, had been freed in the raid on Tuesday, Reuters cites activists as saying.

Two of the women claimed they had been imprisoned in a basement for 10 years and forced to work without pay at a grocery store underneath an apartment block.

The women said they were regularly beaten and some had not seen daylight for years.

Moscow attracts many migrant workers from former Soviet republics in Central Asia such as Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.