Austrian police are investigating a man they suspect imprisoned, beat and sexually abused his two daughters over a 40-year period, they said yesterday. The 85-year-old Austrian, from the village of St Peter am Hart near Braunau, kept the women locked in a small kitchen with only a wooden bench as a bed, police said. “The accused repeatedly threatened to kill them and threatened them with weapons,” the police department of the province of Upper Austria said in a statement. The man banned his daughters from having “any social contact”, the statement added. burberry outlet It was not immediately clear if they were confined all the time. The description has echoes of the Josef Fritzl incest case which rocked Austria three years ago. Fritzl fathered seven children with his incarcerated daughter before being imprisoned for life in 2009 aged 74. Police said the women, now aged 53 and 45, were suffering from “mental deficiencies” and were being sheltered and treated after their ordeal. They escaped in May when the father tried to rape the elder daughter and she fought back, injuring him as he fell to the ground. A social worker found the father two days later and reported the alleged abuse to the authorities. The father is now bedridden in hospital but is “mentally active” for his age, police said. Police did not say whether the daughters gave birth to children by their father. The police statement, which did not name the man, said he abused them from 1970 to May 2011 in the village near the German border. With regards to statehood, you say that as an observer state in the UN, Palestine would 'fall short of meeting the internationally agreed criteria of statehood', which would have serious implications for Palestinians at large, especially for the diaspora. How so? What concerns me is that insufficient attention has been given so far to representation of the Palestinian people at large – that is, to the diaspora also, for whom both self-determination and the right of return are basic human rights and crucial elements in national identity. With regards to representation, you state that the 'PLO's mandate thus encompasses the totality of issues arising from the continuing displacement of Palestinians and the struggle for self-determination – this includes, among others, the questions of return and compensation'. In what way will the creation of a state challenge this? I'm afraid I will end up repeating myself – the question is, whether a state will in fact be truly representative of the popular will of all the people of Palestine, or whether the change in representation will in fact undermine their ability to claim their rights. Who has your opinion been presented to, and when were they made aware of the issues you highlighted? I understand that the Opinion has been given to all relevant officials of the PLO and party leaderships concerned with the diplomatic initiative on statehood. Obviously, such a decision to change the form of representation in the United Nations so dramatically is a matter which concerns all the Palestinian people. For this reason, I am happy that Al Jazeera are publishing it in full, as this will allow the proper and extensive discussion and debate which these issues require.