Three Lebanese youths, including the son of a senior Hezbollah official, filmed themselves beating and sexually assaulting a 13-year-old Syrian refugee in east Lebanon, multiple Arab media sources reported this week.
According to reports, the names of the perpetrators are Hadi Qamar, Mustafa Sha'shoua and Hassan Sha'shoua.
The video, showing the three men verbally and physically abusing the boy, went viral on social media, with Syrian and Lebanese users calling for the perpetrators' arrest and prosecution.
"Three Lebanese men raped a 13-year-old Syrian refugee, taking pictures as they took turns abusing him," a Twitter user posted under the hashtag #العدالة_للطفل_السوري (Justice for the Syrian boy).
"Until they are arrested, here are the pictures of these fanatic monsters. I hope everyone posts them," the tweet said.
"May who[ever] decides to burn a little child's soul like that burn in hell and suffer for the rest of their life," another user named Sabin wrote on Twitter.
May who ever decides to burn a little childs soul like that burn in hell and suffer for the rest of their life. #العداله_للطفل_السوري pic.twitter.com/f1nn7PcO7t— Sabin (@sabin__sarkis) July 2, 2020
"These rapists need to be tortured [and] then executed," posted Jordanian user Sara. "Keep tweeting this...#justice_for_the_syrian_child."
The video was filmed in the town of Sohmor in the Beqaa valley of east Lebanon, according to Al Arabiya. Occupied by Syria until 2005, the valley currently remains one of the strongholds of Hezbollah.
The terrorist militia is pressuring the boy's mother not to press charges against the perpetrators, the Middle East Monitor reported, citing local media.
"Yesterday, my brother-in-law showed me the tragedy after it spread online," the mother told Lebanese newspaper An-Nahar (The Day). "I couldn’t bare seeing my child suffer."
The boy reportedly told his mother he had been subjected to repeated cases of similar abuse over the past two years, according to Al Arabiya. "He said he was raped by seven men in the juice shop. They’re all relatives and from the town of Sohmor."
"Regardless of nationality, when the victim is a child who has been raped and abused for three years, it is a huge tragedy," Syrian actress Kinda Alloush said in response to the disturbing video. "The rapist is a criminal who deserves punishment regardless of his nationality."
Alloush continued, saying the public demands that "justice be served and the largest penalties be imposed on the criminals, especially as their names have become known."
According to Gulf News, Amira Sukkar, head of the Union for the Protection of Juveniles in Lebanon, told Lebanese media legal action was taken.
"We reported the incident to the police and spoke to the Public Prosecution and began the investigations," Sukkar reportedly said. The boy, said Sukkar, "feels like he’s guilty of this crime" following the traumatic event.
One of the men suspected of sexually assaulting the boy has been arrested, Lebanon's Internal Security Forces said in a statement Thursday.
شكراً للتواصل، بحسب التحقيقات وكما ذكرنا في البلاغ المعمم، تبين وجود 8 مشتبه بهم بالإعتداء على الطفل، حيث تم توقيف أحدهم وتعميم بلاغات بحث وتحرٍ بحق المتوارين عن الأنظار والتحقيق مستمر لتوقيفهم.— قوى الامن الداخلي (@LebISF) July 2, 2020
"According to the investigations, and as mentioned in the statement, eight men suspected of assaulting the child have been identified," the forces said. "One of them has been arrested and searches of those in hiding continue."