December 21, 2011 by staff
Haircutting Amish, A federal grand jury in Cleveland Tuesday indicted 12 Amish men and women in a series of religiously motivated hair-cutting assaults on other Amish.
The Justice Department said the seven-count indictment charges 10 men and two women, all from Ohio, with multiple counts stemming from five separate assaults that occurred from September through November. In each case, authorities allege, the defendants forcibly removed beard and scalp hair from the victims, with whom they had ongoing religious disputes.
In the Amish religion, men wear their beards and women wear their hair as symbols of their faith.
“For nearly 500 years, people have come to this land so that they could pray however and to whomever they wished,” U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach said. “Violent attempts to attack this most basic freedom have no place in our country.”
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