Eight members of a Kansas-based organization allegedly abused children physically and forced them to work without pay.

Federal prosecutors filed an indictment against the United Nation of Islam (UNOI), accusing the group of taking advantage of children and imposing severe dietary restrictions on them, The Kansas City Star reported.

In 2018, UNOI was labeled as a cult by a federal judge in the District of Kansas. The organization separated ways from Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam in 1978.

The prosecutors’ claim includes refusing proper medical attention of the kids, school and education prohibitions and demanding the children to undergo colonics led by the adult members. The children were reported to be as young as 8 years old. It is said that they were kept inside “overcrowded dormitories or barracks".

The group tried to imbibe within the children that unpaid work was their “duty to Allah,” as stated in the indictment. And, if they did not comply with the organization’s orders, consequences await.

Randolph Hadley, Jacelyn Greenwell, Etinia Kinnard, Dana Peach, Daniel Jenkins, James Staton, Yunus Rassoul and Kaaba Majeed were named the perpetrators of abuse. All were arrested and accused of abusing minors. No attorney was listed on the federal court records under the said names.

According to the indictment Tuesday in Kansas Federal Court, UNOI kept the children apart from their parents. They made the kids work up to 16 hours a day without any pay. The indictment mentioned that some victims were assigned to work in Kansas City, while others were forcedly transported to other states, such as New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Maryland, Georgia and North Carolina.

Also included in the indictment are the names of 10 children who suffered under the unfair and abusive treatment of UNOI. All the incidents happened between October 2000 and November 2012.

In 2018, Kendra Ross was taken away from her mother at the age of 12. She was reported to be an unpaid laborer for a decade by UNOI. Aside from the abuse she endured, Ross was also married to another UNOI member when she was 20 years old. After being trafficked, she was given $8 million for the damages and sufferings she had to undergo.

The defendants are now facing five years in prison if proven guilty. Charges include “rarely permitted victims to seek outside medical attention” and often denying "victims medical attention altogether,” the indictment stated.

Child labor
Representation image of child labor. WikiImage/Unsplash