AFGHANISTAN. Balkh: Nine-year-old child Abdul Rauf was abducted by unknown men while going to school, in the northern province of Balkh more than five months ago.
The kidnappers previously asked Abdul’s family for $1.2 million as a ransom in exchange for the release of the child. The 9-year-old’s family asserted that the kidnappers had sent them a video of torturing the child to persuade them to pay the ransom.
In a video clip that the family sent to the Wahida Paikan, a journalist of an independent Persian newspaper, the child is being tortured with an electric shock tool and screams.
In an interview with TOLO News, the family said that their child will turn 10 on Wednesday, 7 April 2021, and accused the government of not being able to release their child. Abdul’s father who has held several protest campaigns for the release of his child claims to have knocked on the door of the Taliban and the Afghan government, but both seemed to have not helped.
Nearly a month ago, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani ordered Balkh officials to find Abdul Rauf, and in case of failure, he would expel all of them from their posts. Abdul’s parents accused the government of also not providing updates on the progress of his survival.“It is shameful that the government that is unable to find a 9-year-old child for more than five months,” said Zohra, mother of Abdul Rauf.
On Tuesday, Abdul’s father Mohammad Nabi showed photos of two alleged kidnappers (Sayed Karim and Shah Wali) who were captured and questioned by the Taliban because of their connection in the case. According to Nabi, the suspects told the Taliban that the child is being kept in the Afghan government-held areas. “The kidnappers moved the child from Taliban-controlled-area to the government-controlled-area. However, at the moment we don’t know where they have transferred him,” said Nabi.
Meanwhile, the Afghanistan National Security office said it has carried out many operations in efforts to free Abdul Rauf, and had arrested 55 members of Daesh (ISIS) in connection with the case, adding that Daesh is connected to the case.
Balkh province governor Mohammad Farhad Azimi says, “Abdul Rauf’s case has become very complex, the central organs have done a lot of work. Clues were indicated in Faryab, this process is now bigger than just a Balkh (authorities) matter.”