Muslim sect ‘kept children in cells underground for TEN YEARS – and some of them have never seen the sun’
- Founder of sect has declared himself a prophet, despite teachings of Islam
- Children aged one to 17 allegedly kept in cells. Some of them may have never seen the sun
- Inclusive city of Kazan shocked by allegations
PUBLISHED: 13:11, 8 August 2012 | UPDATED: 08:30, 9 August 2012
Russian prosecutors have brought child abuse charges against members of a reclusive Muslim sect accused of keeping some of their children in underground cells for more than 10 years.
Russia’s Vesti television reported that prosecutors in Kazan, the capital of the predominantly Muslim central province of Tatarstan, have also charged Faizrakhman Satarov, the sect’s 83-year-old founder, with negligence.
It said Satarov declared himself a prophet – a claim that contradicts the principles of Islam – and ordered some 70 of his followers to stop contact with the outside world and live in underground cells they dug under a house outside Kazan in the early 2000s.
Religious harmony: The Kul Sharif Mosque in Kazan, left, and a catholic church nearby is an example of how Muslims and Christians co-exist in the city
Vesti quotes prosecutors saying some 20 children, aged between one and 17, lived in the cells for years.
Some of them have never seen daylight.
The allegations have shocked residents of Kazan – a cosmopolitan city with a population of more than 1.5 million, situated where the Volga and Kazanka rivers meet.
It is the eighth most populous city in Russia, and is famous for Muslims and Christians living together peacefully in the one city.
Kazan is to host the 2015 World Aquatics Championships and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.