A young boy is in a critical condition in hospital in Brussels after he was left on a freezing balcony in just his pyjamas for 15 hours.
It is believed the six-year-old had been left there as punishment for helping himself to something to eat from the kitchen.
Prosecutors said the boy was found outside the flat in the Saint-Josse area of the city where he had been stood from 5am until 8pm on Boxing Day.
Emergency services found the little boy 'unconscious and suffering from hypothermia and malnutrition', the Brussels prosecutors office said in a statement.
His twin sister was also taken to hospital suffering from mistreatment and malnutrition.
The children's mother, 31, and their 21-year-old stepfather have been arrested on suspicion of 'torture of a minor by someone in a position of authority', the Brussels prosecutors office said.
'The step-father has confessed without realising the seriousness of the facts, while the mother is still in denial,' the prosecutor's office said.
The woman is a French national while the step-father is Belgian, Het Laatste Nieuws reported.
Neither child was registered in Belgium, making it more difficult for authorities to monitor their welfare, local mayor Emir Kir told RTL-TVI television.
Source - Metro