Report says the leader of a South Korean doomsday cult has been sentenced to six years in jail for holding her followers captive in Fiji and subjecting them to violence.
According to report, Shin Ok-ju, who founded the Grace Road Church, convinced 400 people to move to Fiji in 2014, claiming they would be safe from imminent natural disaster
Once there, their passports were taken away and many of them reported being beaten to “drive out evil spirits”.
Shin was arrested last July.
On Monday, a South Korean court found Shin guilty on several criminal charges including violence, child abuse and fraud.
“The victims suffered helplessly from collective beatings and experienced not only physical torture but also severe fear and considerable mental shock,” said a sub-court of the Suwon District Court.
“Heavy punishment is inevitable against illegal acts carried out in the name of religion,” it said.
Five other church officials were also sentenced. There has been no comment from the church.
Seoyeon Lee, a woman who escaped from the cult in 2014, said she was “disappointed” with the court’s decision.
“The punishment did not fit the crime at all. She should be behind bars for a much longer time,” said Ms Lee.
“It’s better than nothing I guess,” she added. “I hope this encourages the Fijian government to take appropriate action and disassociate themselves with the organisation”.