boys learning the koran the hard way

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    Boys 'kept in chains' at school
    From correspondents in Nairobi
    January 30, 2003
    KENYAN police have raided an Islamic disciplinary school in Nairobi and rescued 11 boys who had allegedly been kept locked in chains and tortured.

    "We raided the Khadijah Islamic Institute of Discipline and Education (on Monday) and rescued 11 boys who were held there, chained at their hands and feet, and who had been tortured for some time," said Nairobi police chief Stephen Kimenchu.
    Police said they were keeping the boys in police cells to protect them while investigating the matter.
    Another police officer at the Kasarani police station north of the capital, said the boys were from Kenya, Ethiopia, Britain, Sweden and the Netherlands.
    "They said that they were in chains fastened with padlocks around the clock, even when they went to the loo, to eat, sleep... They were compelled to narrate some verses of the Koran and failure led to thorough beatings," he added. "They looked as if they were never fed a balanced diet."
    The officer said that during the raid police met with resistance from some residents of Eastleigh, a crime-prone suburb in the north-eastern part of the capital inhabited by mostly Somali refugees.
    Officials said they were trying to track down the boys' parents or whoever took them to the school.

    Agence France-Presse
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