Both parents had “psychiatric problems” and were wanted by European authorities for abducting a minor
A French couple was arrested for planning to “sacrifice” their five-year-old son, who they believed to be “possessed”, in the Sahara, Spanish authorities revealed on Saturday.
The couple was arrested on December 21 in the southern Spanish port of Algeciras, as the family was about to board a ferry to the Moroccan city of Tangiers, AFP reported.
The Guardia Civil police force said in a statement they had arrested a “couple of French origin” who “intended to murder their five-year-old son in the Sahara, believing him to be possessed”.
Both parents had “psychiatric problems” and were the subject of a European arrest warrant for the abduction of a minor, the police added.
A judge in Spain has remanded the couple in custody, while the child is in good health and has been sent to a minors’ reception centre before being returned to France.
This kind of case has re-emerged after more than a decade as such cases of children being trafficked to be sacrificed in other countries used to be quite prevalent in 2012 and the years that came before it.
According to The Standard, citing a 10-month leaked Scotland Yard study in 2012, boys from Africa were being brought to London churches to be murdered as human sacrifices in rituals by fundamentalist Christian sects.
Followers believed powerful spells necessitated the death of “unblemished” male children, who were believed to be trafficked from cities like Kinshasa for as little as £10.
The report also cites examples of African children being tortured and killed after being identified as “witches” by church pastors.
The study was commissioned after the death of Victoria Climbié, who was starved and beaten to death after they said she was possessed by the devil.
The Met study aimed to create an “open dialogue” with the African and Asian communities in Newham and Hackney.
In discussions with African community leaders, officers were told of examples of children being murdered because their parents or carers believed them to be possessed by evil spirits.
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