Screen capture taken from the video showing the moment the policeman slaps a man holding his young son.
Video footage of police violence in Bahrain abounds online, so much so that it rarely stirs debate. However, a recent video has whipped up a storm of protests in the kingdom. Perhaps because this time it doesn’t show protesters being attacked – but rather a man being humiliated in front of his young son during a routine identity check.
The scene took place on December 23 in the village of Aali, in central Bahrain. From behind a window, a camera films what at first appears to be a rather ordinary scene: a policeman asks a man his name and what village he comes from. The man, who is holding his son in his arms, replies that his name is Haider and that he is from the village of Aali. The policeman then asks him to show his identity card or his license, but the man says he doesn’t have these papers on him. Furious, the policeman asks him to speak to him in a more respectful tone, and then insults him. He then proceeds to slap the man twice, barely missing the child, who begins to cry. The father tries to cover his son’s eyes.
This video caused outrage in Bahrain, where Internet users dubbed it "the slap video".
According to local activists, this is not the first time that the policeman in question has acted in such a violent manner.