Ghana police find three children locked in house for years

ACCRA (REUTERS) - Ghana police are questioning a couple who locked their three children in a house in Accra for years possibly to try to protect them from society's evil, a police inspector said on Tuesday.

Police broke into the four-bedroom house in the Madina neighbourhood in Ghana's capital Accra, after a tipoff and rescued the children, aged 8, 6 and 2, who had been living in the house with their parents, a sheep, a goat and dogs.

Police arrested the man and woman, who have been released pending charges, and the children were placed with social services, said Inspector Agnes Ajo-Awuku, of the police Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit.

The children appeared confident and were not traumatised.

They spoke English, which they apparently learned from television and radio, and some of the Ghanaian language, Ga, Ms Ajo-Awuku said.

"They abused (the children), denied them their rights and freedom of going to church and going to school. The environment they are living in is very, very dreadful," she told Reuters, adding that the parents said the world was evil.

Relatives of the family said they were not aware of the existence of the two younger children and the parents had prevented them from entering the house for years, Ms Ajo-Awuku said.

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