Police on Sunday night arrested a Hong Kong woman for child abuse after pictures showing a boy tied up in a flat and a video of a child being repeatedly slapped went viral.
One of three pictures that circulated on social media over the weekend shows the child, who appears to be under the age of 10, made to kneel next to a toilet with his hands and feet tied. Another picture features the boy lying shirtless on the floor of the bathroom.
Over the images, a woman’s voice can be heard talking in the background. According to The Standard, she says: “At 3:40pm, little brother came back. I have tied his hands and legs in the bathroom. Look at the photos, are they nice?”
A short 12-second clip circulated with the images (published by Ming Pao), meanwhile, shows a woman slapping another boy’s face. A young girl also joins in and hits the child in the eyes with an object. “Don’t hit me!” the boy says in the clip, as he cries and tries to cover his face.
According to the RTHK, the Police Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau launched an investigation on Sunday.
They arrested a woman, 41, at a flat in Mei Sang House on the Shek Kip Mei Estate, RTHK reported.
The woman has two sons, aged 8 and 10, and a 5-year-old daughter, according to the SCMP.
A police spokesman told the English-language paper that the woman was suspected of abusing her son mid last year.
The paper reported that neighbors had often seen the woman beating and scolding the boys publicly. Ming Pao reported the three children were being cared for by authorities.
Speaking to The Standard, Education-sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen called for the police to investigate, but cautioned it was hard to determine all the facts from a video.
Many netizens reacted with fury to the suspected abuse, which is not the first case to come to light via social media.