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Pakistani Seminary Raided
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Earlier this week, police in Pakistan discovered drug addicts being held in chains at an Islamic seminary that was responsible for rehabilitation services. The police also added that there were some children who were also chained at the location.

The location was found in the southern port city of Karachi, where parents of 60 men paid the seminary to treat their children. The children were supposed to be receiving treatment using a regiment of Islamic instruction and worship.

  
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“They were kept there like animals,” said police officer Akram Naeem.

Naeem also said that the police officers responding to the location had ruled out the chance that the seminary was linked to Islamist militant groups. Naeem said that any persons trying to leave the location or who were dealing drugs were chained together.

There were children as young as eight years old who were receiving regular instruction at the Islamic seminary according to Rao Anwar Ahmed through the Huffington Post. Ahmed also said that those young children would also be chained if they were disobedient while at the seminary. The raid on the complex took place Monday, with one administrator being arrested, as a result of a tip.

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For drug addicts in Pakistan, there is little to no help from the state, which enables seminaries across the country to charge for treatment. Addicts and mental patients are commonly chained at these types of institutions across the country and in other developing countries in the area. There are thousands of unregulated seminaries in Pakistan that offer free or cheap education, lodging, and food for poor children. Abuse reports surface from these institutions every so often.

“I brought my grown up son here because he is a drug addict and he was making my life miserable,” one parent told a local television station. “I don’t want to take him back.”



Some of the victims were even denied food and were also pressured to join the Taliban, according to the Los Angeles Times. The victims range in age from 12 to 50 and it is unclear as to why they were subjected to the abuse. The tip to the police came from neighbors of the seminary. Video footage has been released documenting the seminary, which showed boys and men being restrained by chains on their ankles. The video footage also shows several of the chained victims celebrating after their release.

Nazish Brohi, is a sociologist and women’s rights activist in Karachi. Brohi had the followingto say about the situation:

“The problem is that all efforts at regulating madrasas have failed. This isn’t the first time they’ve found students chained, although it may be the first time it’s been running live on TV,” Brohi said. “My concern, with the shock and horror of this case, is that people will focus on this one incident rather than the wider issue of oversight.”



 

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