Deaf woman: I was a slave for 10 years

Feb. 14, 2012 at 4:08 PM
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MANCHESTER, England, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A deaf Pakistani woman says she endured a decade of domestic and sexual exploitation after a couple brought her to England when she was 10 or 12.

The woman testified about her alleged enslavement Monday at the trial of Ilyas and Tallat Ashar and their daughter Faaiza, The Guardian reported.

The couple are charged with false imprisonment and exploitation, and Ilyas Ashar with rape, while all three are charged with claiming welfare benefits for their alleged victim and keeping the money.

On the witness stand in Manchester Crown Court, the woman used sign language to say she was confined to a bare cellar when she was not working.

"I was sad and weak because I was working so hard," she said. "They used to hit me from being very very little, all the time. I used to cook and clean for hours and hours."

Ilyas, 83, and Tallat, 66, who live in Eccles, Greater Manchester, both deny all charges, as does their 44-year-old daughter.

The victim, who is not being named in the news media, is believed to be in her early 20s. She came to Britain in 2000 with a passport that said she was 19.

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