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Russian Convent Probed Following Abuse Claims

MOSCOW -- A convent in Russia's Vladimir Oblast is under investigation after allegations that children living there were mistreated, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Vladimir Markin, spokesman for the Investigative Committee (SKP) at the Prosecutor-General's Office, told journalists on October 27 that an investigation has been launched into "forced deprivation of freedom of an underage person."

At the beginning of this month, three teenagers living at a shelter within the Svyato-Bogolyubsky convent in Vladimir Oblast, about 160 kilometers east of Moscow, contacted journalists and asked them to publicize their plight.

The three claimed they were forced to work long hours in the fields. They said If they refused, they were locked in unheated premises, beaten, and deprived of food.

An investigation ordered by Russian human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin corroborated the teenagers' allegations.