Bosnian police arrest couple over girl's 8-year 'slavery'
Police have arrested a Bosnian couple for allegedly enslaving a 19-year-old German woman and keeping her locked up for the past eight years, public television reported Sunday.
Police arrested the couple on May 17 following reports that the woman had been imprisoned, tortured and isolated from other people over an eight-year period.
"They kept her locked up, neither allowing her contact with other people, nor to go to school," police spokesman Admir Arnautovic told FTV public television. "They subjected her to inhumane treatment and torture."
The couple, Milenko and Slavojka Marinkovic, were arrested at their home in the village of Karavlasi in the northwestern Tuzla region after police received a tip-off from a neighbour.
The neighbour, Sead Makalic, told FTV that he had witnessed them treating the girl like an animal, forcing her to eat pig feed and pulling a horse-cart on which they were sitting.
The girl, who has not been named, has been placed in a safe house for victims of family violence near Tuzla and provided with medical treatment, investigators quoted by the channel said.
Makalic told the television he had seen her eating pumpkin and corn grains used to feed the couple's pigs.
"One day I saw that the girl was obliged to pull a team instead of a horse, while they were sitting on," he said.
Local media reported that the girl had arrived in Bosnia from Germany eight years ago with her mother, identified only as Kristina, when she married Milenko Marinkovic to help him obtain a residence permit in Germany.
The mother has lived between Karavslavi and Germany for several years and was in the village at the time of the arrests, media reports said.
Local newspaper reported allegations of sexual abuse by friends of the family visiting the house, saying they had heard the girl screaming and crying.
© 2012 AFP