Police investigate as 'chilling' footage shows officer forcing migrants to slap each other

Joanna Taylor
Thursday 25 June 2020 09:15
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( FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / Getty Images )

An Italian police officer is under investigation after a viral video appeared to show him forcing Tunisian migrants to slap each other.

The officer told two young men, who were quarantined at a migrant reception centre in Agrigento, Sicily, to slap each other as "punishment" for attempting to escape.

In the video he can be heard saying to one of the men:

You're a guest and you have to respect the law. Now get on your knees and slap each other.

Be a man and slap him. 

Others can be heard laughing as the incident took place.

The officer has been suspended from duty and is under investigation for abuse of correction methods.

Attorney Leonardo Marino, who approached Agrigento police for information about the case, told InfoMigrants:

The consul, after the big media hype around this case, wanted to take action on an institutional level to acquire information.

We had a very cordial first meeting with the police commissioner's chief of staff; we will try to enter the proceedings.

The video sparked outrage when it was posted to Reddit and Facebook.

One user commented: "It's chilling ... You can't believe it!"

Another wrote: "Simply shameful that law enforcement agencies do this."

The preliminary hearing judge for the case, Alessandra Vella, has been approved to get testimony from the five Tunisian men who witnessed the incident.

The officer reportedly will not return to his post at the migrant facility in the Ciavolotta region of Agrigento.

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