Slavery in London: WWII codebreaker`s daughter among victims

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 20:51

London: A newspaper revealed Wednesday that one of the three women enslaved by a couple for 30 years in a London house was the daughter of a renowned World War II codebreaker.

The rescue of the three women happened last month after prolonged intervention by a charity run by an Indian-origin woman. The man who held the women captive was also India-born.

Josephine Herivel, 57, an Irish national, was among the three women rescued by Freedom Charity. She is the daughter of mathematician John Herivel, a key figure in the Bletchley Park team who cracked the German Enigma ciphers, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

However, John Herivel, who died in 2011 at the age of 92, made no mention of her.

Josephine, who was brought up and educated in Belfast in Northern Ireland, is believed to have moved to England in the 1970s, where she became involved with the group led by Aravindan Balakrishnan, 73, an India-born veteran of far-left politics.

Last week, the three women were identified only as a 69-year-old Malaysian national, a 57-year-old woman from Ireland and a 30-year-old British national, the last of whom is believed to have never known freedom.

The two accused, Balakrishnan and his 67-year-old wife, Chanda, from Tanzania, were reportedly arrested and released on bail.

Relatives and former political activists in Malaysia say they believe Aisha Wahab, 69, who was also freed from the house, is a Malaysian student who went missing in London in the 1970s after becoming involved in far-left politics.

According to the report, the youngest woman, who is 30 years old, was named Rosie Davies.

The three women were rescued from a flat in Brixton last month after one of them telephoned the Freedom Charity, headed by Indian-origin Aneeta Prem. The charity deals with forced marriages and domestic slavery.


First Published: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 20:51

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