UK

'Slavery' case woman Sian Davies 'indoctrinated'

  • 30 November 2013
  • From the section UK

The cousin of a woman who belonged to a Maoist commune in south London being investigated by police for alleged slavery has accused its members of turning her against her family.

Sian Davies died in 1997 after more than two decades with the activists.

Emyr Morgan told the BBC that members of the group wrongly claimed she was in India when she was in fact in hospital.

Police have interviewed three women, aged 69, 57 and 30, allegedly held as slaves for 30 years.

Ms Davies entered the Maoist commune in the mid 1970s, devoting her life and her money to its cause.

Mr Morgan said she "disappeared" until 1997 when police told the family she had died after falling from a window at the group's house in south London.

He said in the months before, Ms Davies's mother had called a number she had been given for the commune only to be told she was in India when she was in fact in hospital.

Mr Morgan also said that at the inquest a commune member denied Ms Davies had a child.

The BBC has seen the birth certificate of a 30-year-old woman that said "Mother: Sian Davies".

The woman is believed to be "Rose", who last month called a charity along with another member of the commune begging for help.

'Thought through'

Mr Morgan claimed Ms Davies was psychologically controlled though political indoctrination.

He said he did not have a phone conversation with Ms Davies but his mother and sister had.

Mr Morgan said: "My sister said it felt as if it was a very stunted conversation and that every answer was almost being thought through as if to say 'am I OK to say this'.

"It always felt during the phone conversations that they had that there was somebody else listening to her because it wasn't a natural conversation. There were all these pauses - it was like a transatlantic phone call."

Police said three women were rescued from a house in Peckford Place, Brixton, last month.

The alleged victims, a 30-year-old Briton, a 57-year-old Irish woman and a 69-year-old Malaysian, are now in the care of a non-governmental organisation.

Aravindan Balakrishnan, 73, and his wife Chanda, 67, have been arrested on suspicion of being involved in forced labour and slavery.

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