KIRKUK, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – A 10-year-old boy named Ali from Kirkuk Province on Monday was delivered to the emergency room with photos circulating on social media showing severe signs of torture and bruises all over his body.
Following his arrival at the hospital, police forces immediately arrested the boy’s father after the former reported the abuse.
Kurdistan24 correspondent Hemin Dalo visited the aunt’s house, where Ali has been staying since he was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday.
“I was not home. I heard Ali screaming. When I arrived, I noticed I was too late because he was already being beaten by his father,” she told Kurdistan24.
The aunt, who is the sister of Ali’s father, said she “couldn’t rescue him alone, so [she] went out and called to neighbors for help.”
She noted Ali’s parents had been divorced, and this was the first incidence of torture taking place in their family.
Ali confided in Kurdistan24 that he was beaten by both his father and stepbrother.
“I was out playing football with my friends in the evening,” Ali said. “When I returned home, it was a bit late, and that was the moment they started to beat me.”
He added his father beat him with a plastic water pipe. “I will not forgive my dad, but I will forgive my stepbrother,” he stated.
Ali’s mother launched an appeal against her husband for beating their son, and the case is being investigated in court.
Ali’s neighbors told Kurdistan24 they could never imagine the boy’s father committing such abuse, claiming it did not match his personality.
The following video is the interview with Ali and his aunt in Arabic with Kurdish translation:
Editing by Gabrielle Renaud and Karzan Sulaivany