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Saudi to probe beating of Asian migrant

Riyadh, November 2, 2013

A video apparently showing a Saudi national mercilessly beating an Asian man after accusing him of talking to his wife has triggered public anger, forcing Saudi Arabia's Human Rights Commission to probe the matter.

The Internet footage has drawn attention to what rights groups say is the wider problem of Saudi employers abusing foreign workers. Reuters could not verify the authenticity of the video and the government was not immediately available for comment.

The video shows an Asian worker in orange overalls being repeatedly hit by a man with a Saudi accent wearing a traditional white robe, according to a rights official.

The Saudi accuses the Asian of talking to his wife, before he starts flogging him with a belt and kicking him as he screams in pain. The beating looks to be happening in the Saudi's home. It is not clear who is operating the hand-held camera.

"We are investigating the incident," Mufleh al-Qahtani, chairman of the government-licensed National Society for Human Rights, told Reuters by telephone on Friday.

"We have addressed the authorities ... to verify this video and know who did this. If it is proven to be real, then we will demand that the perpetrator be punished and that the Asian worker can realise his rights."

Al Arabiya television said the state Human Rights Commission was looking into the case after receiving complaints. Reuters was unable to contact the Commission on Friday.

The attack was "a flagrant violation of the victim's rights to safety and dignity and the act also flouted rules set by Islamic sharia," Arabiya cited the Commission's spokesman, Ibrahim al-Shadi, as saying.-Reuters




Tags: Human rights | saudi beating |

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