BEIRUT: The Internal Security Forces arrested the father and cousin of a two-year-old for giving him orders to brutally beat up a Syrian refugee, the police said in a statement released Sunday.
The ISF said that investigations led the Cybercrime Combating Bureau to the arrest in the Beirut southern suburbs of the father of two-year-old Abbas -- of whom a video went viral Saturday showing him beating up a nine-year-old Syrian refugee identified as Khaled N.
Abbas’ father A.A. was arrested in the van he owned in Raml al-Ali. The ISF also arrested Abbas’ 17-year-old cousin H.T. who filmed the incident.
Khaled N’s abuse at the hands of Abbas was taped and widely shared online Saturday, spreading waves of controversy across the country.
“Hit him Abbas, hit him on the head with the stick,” were the orders shouted by Abbas’ relatives, who were responsible for the footage taken on a mobile phone.
The video shows Abbas swiping a thick stick back and forth toward a passive nine year old boy dressed in ragged pants, a shabby shirt and flapping sandals.
The victim then crumpled to the floor, kneeling before Abbas who then continued beating him with the heavy rod.
The victim guarded his face with his hands saying “please not the face” after one of Abbas’ relatives ordered the child to strike in that direction.
Behind the camera an orchestra of voices yelled out orders to the little boy, some of them from a man some from an unknown female observer.
“Slap him in the face. Ok now kick him on the stomach,” they yelled out, “punch him on the head, come on punch him.”
At this point, the abused child began crying out in pain, wailing at every new strike. Meanwhile the observers behind the camera laughed and giggled as Abbas double punched the child with both fists before going back for the stick.
The video concludes with a heavy cry from the victim as Hussam [another boy identified in the video] slaps the back of the child’s neck and Abbas throws one last blow at the kneeling body.
The video was first released on yassour.org news website and then quickly circulated around various social network platforms.