Migrant workers in Cornwall protest arrest of bosses

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Media captionMigrant workers said they are "not slaves"

About 100 migrant workers gathered outside a police station to protest against the arrest of their bosses.

Three men were arrested on Thursday on suspicion of modern slavery offences at Bosahan farm near Helston in Cornwall.

The protesters said they were also angry they had been portrayed as modern slaves after police raided the farm.

A senior officer described the demonstration as "good, legitimate democracy".

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The three men aged 61, 49 and 41 were released earlier "pending further enquiries", police said.

Two hundred workers, mainly from Romania and Lithuania, live on the farm where they pick flowers.

Image caption Police raided the flower farm near Helston in Cornwall on Thursday morning

Justinas Staliunas, an interpreter for the group, said: "We are all here basically to get the truth out and to show that the people here are not modern slaves. They are not slaves.

"They come here to work, some people here have worked for 13 or 15 years for the same people. Now, I wouldn't call that slavery."

Fourteen of the workers chose to leave the farm after they were spoken to by police and other agencies.

'Legitimate democracy'

The raid on Thursday morning led to two men being arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences and one man was taken into custody on suspicion of gangmaster offences.

One of the arrested men has been released while investigations continue.

Shaun Sawyer, Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall, said: "We have seen in Cornwall that there is exploitation by organised crime, and exploitation of migrant workers and that's what we are investigating."

Speaking of the protest he said: "It's good, legitimate democracy.

"Why wouldn't those who don't understand want to go to a British police station and express their views very legitimately? I think that is democracy."

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