Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Iran’s top genetics scientist recounts circumstances surrounding brief kidnapping

Dr. Dariush Farhoud, Iran’s most prominent professor of medical and clinical genetics, recounts the circumstances surrounding his kidnapping near his home in the capital, Tehran.

The 85-year-old, known as the father of Iran’s genetics, said he had just left home at 6:00 a.m. local time for the clinic, where he works, on Sunday, when his car was stopped by unknown people.

The kidnappers then took control of the car and drove him to an unknown location, where he was kept for 36 hours, he said.

“I was at their service for about 26 hours. They asked and answered very respectfully. I didn’t know until the last moment whether this story would end well.”

Earlier this year, Dr. Farhoud criticized the government’s plans to ban pre-natal screening and legal abortions, describing them as violations of human rights.

As news of his disappearance spread, foreign media outlets quickly linked the incident to Iranian security forces.

Dr. Farhoud, however, said, “I believe [the assertion] that my kidnapping had nothing to do with any government body, including the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and I have no complaint against them. It might have been done by rogue elements with some of the institutions.”

Commenting on the incident, Colonel Ali Valipour Goudarzi, Tehran’s police chief, criticized the scientist for failing to tell the story in full.

The kidnappers demanded a ransom of 8 billion tomans from him, according to him.

The kidnappers took Dr. Farhoud to the banks in northern Iran and tried to force him to withdraw the amount from his account. The banks refused to do so as the scientist did not have ID cards with him.

The individuals then received commitment papers from Dr. Farhoud that he will later pay the money and released him. They were, however, arrested in the following hours when they called Dr. Farhoud to get money.

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