Thursday, August 5

BBC Research | “I looked up and saw they had shackles”: Islamic schools where children are chained

  • Fateh Al-Rahman Al-Hamdani
  • BBC Arab Service

When I met Ahmed, he was in a room alone and in chains. His body was scarred by the beatings they had given him. You don’t know how old he is, but he’s probably 10.

The school I found him in is one of 23 Islamic institutions in Sudan, known as khalwas, that I covertly filmed over a period of two years, beginning in early 2018.

I witnessed and filmed many children, some as young as 5 years old, being severely beaten, routinely chained, and held without food or water by the sheikhs, or religious men, running the schools.

Some of the children who did not appear in our documentary told me that they had been raped or subjected to other forms of sexual abuse.

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