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Parents beat 9-year-old girl for 'being a witch'

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12:47 CET+01:00
Two parents from western Sweden are facing charges that they savagely beat a 9-year-old girl and forced her to drink her own urine because they thought she was a witch.

Prosecutors allege the girl's mother and stepfather kicked and beat the 9-year-old so badly that she lost consciousness as they attempted to exorcise evil spirits from her.

She was also forced to drink a mixture of her own urine and cleaning fluid until she vomited.

The couple also tried to administer electric shocks in the girl's mouth, the local Borås Tidning (BT) newspaper reported.

The attacks allegedly took place in 2007 and 2008, but the girl only spoke of the incidents long after they took place.

Social services removed the girl from the care of the couple several years ago and she has since been placed in a foster home.

The man and the woman charged for attempting the violent exorcism deny committing any crimes.

"As far as I know, they still believe she could be a witch," prosecutor Daniel Larson told the TT news agency.

He added that the girl retold of several violent attacks carried out by her parents, but when drawing up the indictment he focused on some of the most serious attacks which carry a longer statute of limitation.

"There is information about how she was locked up, forced to cut her hair and wear a wig, and how she was accused of being a witch," Larson said.

The case is the second in the past year in which adults have been accused of abusing children thought to be witches.

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In the previous case, all four adults were acquitted by the district court. However, an appeal hearing is scheduled for April.

TT/The Local/dl

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