Five Ukrainian women who were tortured and imprisoned in a basement by sex traffickers in Turkey have been freed thanks to a special telephone hotline, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Friday, Middle East Times informed.

The women - one of whom was held for six years - were set to return to Ukraine after being rescued by Turkish police following a call to the "157" hotline, which is run by the IOM, the Geneva-based organization said.

"This case is one of the worst instances of trafficking we have documented in Turkey," said IOM official Marielle Sander Lindstrom in a statement.

The women, who were forced into prostitution, were tortured with boiling oil and kept in a windowless basement near the southern resort town of Antalya.

However, one managed to call the hotline using a mobile telephone belonging to a client or trafficker, and they were freed on August 1, said the IOM.

Turkish police rescued a further five victims of trafficking on August 3 in the southern city of Mersin, again thanks to a call to the hotline, the IOM added.

They had also been tortured and kept in a basement.

"Our greatest concern is that these cases taken together may represent a new level of cruelty and torture inflicted on trafficked individuals," said Sander Lindstrom.


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