Lev Tahor Children Forced To Take Drugs

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Nachman Helbrans, front-centre, is pictured with two families of the Jewish fundamentalist group, Lev Tahor, where they are staying at the Ramada Limited Windsor, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. (DAX MELMER/The Windsor Star)

Montreal, Canada – In ongoing coverage of the children in the Lev Tahor community, newly released documents state the children are forced to take strong psychological drugs, and have fungus and bruises on their feet.

According to the Montreal Gazette, documents from a November 27 court hearing state that social workers for the Youth Protection Department of the Laurentians region made the case for the removal of 14 children from the sect. The documents were recently made public after a publication ban was lifted.

The ultra-Orthodox sect was based in Ste-Agathe until last November when most Lev Tahor members relocated to Chatham, Ont.

In their absence, St-Jérôme Youth Court Judge Pierre Hamel ordered the 14 children from three families into foster care for a minimum period of 30 days. A ruling is expected Feb. 3 from an Ontario court whether youth protection officials in that province have the authority to remove the children.

The Youth Protection Department in the Laurentians was first made aware of problems within the ultra-Orthodox sect in 2007, when a new mother was found to be taking anti-psychotic drugs in the hospital. After a short period of removal from the mother, the baby was returned.

A few months later, the baby was placed with a foster family with four other children. Officials have continued monitoring the sect since then.

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