Police in Southern Iran Rescue Five-Year-Old Boy Held and Tortured for Two Months

Police in Bandar Bushehr, capital of the southern province of Bushehr, have arrested two people on suspicion of the kidnapping, torture and detention of a five-year-old boy for a period of two months at a carwash, local media reported, citing Bushehr Prosecutor Ali Hassanpour.

“Two people are in police custody,” Mr. Hassanpour said. “The police have also shut down the carwash while the investigation continues.”

According to the Children’s Services, the boy — who authorities have identified as “Mobin” — suffered multiple injuries to his head, hands, and mouth. The Welfare Organization’s Bushehr office has reportedly moved Mobin to the Persian Gulf Hospital, where he is receiving medical care.

The authorities believe that the abductors locked Mobin in a storage room at the carwash for two months. They allegedly beat him repeatedly during the second month of his captivity.

New information uncovered by police has led the prosecutor’s office to change its initial conclusion that the boy’s injuries resulted from “severe punishment he had received for misbehaving and being unruly.”

Mobin’s father skipped town after allegedly stealing some money from the owner of the carwash where he worked, Bushehr’s Siraf online newspaper reported, citing a teacher who knows the child’s family.

Mobin’s parents were divorced because of his father’s drug addiction, the newspaper reported. The family court, however, granted custody to the boy’s father.

According to the teacher, the owner of the carwash allegedly abducted Mobin and used him as collateral to force the father to return the stolen money.

The teacher said he alerted the Welfare Organization’s Bushehr office immediately after Mobin went missing, but no one investigated the incident. The teacher alleged that the workers at the carwash threatened and beat Mobin to prevent him from escaping. They starved the child and reportedly used drugs in front of him.

“One of our friends who knew about Mobin’s plight saw him in the hospital in early June,” the teacher told Siraf. “He had cuts and bruises all over his body. Also, one of his hands was in a cast. Some time later, we saw pictures of him on social media which confirmed our suspicions.”

Despite repeated attempts, Siraf could not reach Ali Pouladi Rayshahri, the director of the Welfare Organization’s Bushehr office, for comments.

[Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi]