Europe

Elderly father chained up like dog in southern Russia

The old man chained to a tree in Russia's Rostov-on-Don region (image: Russian chief prosecutor's office)
Image caption A photo of the victim was posted on the Russian chief prosecutor's website

A married couple in southern Russia face charges after the wife's elderly father was found by police chained up in a yard like a dog.

Prosecutors took the unusual step of releasing photos of the victim online, showing him sitting on a mattress with a chain attaching his leg to a tree.

Neighbours alerted police after hearing the 70-year-old man's cries for help. He was allegedly chained for five days.

The couple are being accused of false imprisonment and are said to have fled.

In order to stop the old man from wandering into the street, they had kept him chained up from 28 July to 1 August, investigators were quoted as saying.

According to the Russian news website, Life News, the victim, who lived in the village of Gluboky, can barely see or hear, and is in very poor health.

'They tethered Old Misha'

In an interview given from his hospital bed, he said he had been beaten and doused with cold water to stop him calling out. As a result, he contracted pneumonia.

The emaciated old man, named only as Mikhail B, told Life News he had longed to die as a result of the alleged abuse: "They beat me with a bottle of water, which is why I have a haematoma on my head.

"They took away my pension. When I wanted to eat, they threw ice-cold water on me. Then they chained me and stopped feeding me altogether."

Doctors told Life News they hoped to place the victim in a rehabilitation centre in a nearby village.

No comment was reported from his 40-year-old daughter and 48-year-old son-in-law, who are said to have gone into hiding, fearing the anger of their fellow villagers.

"We were just shocked when we heard they had tethered Old Misha," said a neighbour, Natalya Demina.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites