A boy from South Sulawesi is receiving gifts and sympathy from people all around Indonesia after the horrific abuse he suffered in the hands of bullies who are much older than him.
The boy, who is identified as 12-year-old RZ, reportedly helps his family get by by selling traditional snacks made by his aunt. He has been selling the snacks using his old bike, which has no functioning brakes.
Over the weekend, videos went viral showing a group of adults bullying RZ over his predicaments and physical appearance. The videos showed RZ being smacked by a man and pushed off his bike while being laughed at, among many other instances of abuse. It appeared the videos were taken by the bullies and deliberately posted online because they found the abuse amusing.
After the videos attracted widespread outrage in the country, local police arrested several of the alleged bullies, including a 26-year-old man named Firdaus, who was filmed smacking RZ on the back of his head.
Firdaus has been charged with assault on a minor, which is punishable by up to three years and six months in prison, while the other suspects were charged with assisting or allowing assault on a minor, which is also punishable by the same prison term.
While his bullies are behind bars, RZ has received numerous precious gifts from concerned citizens. Among them was a scholarship for RZ’s schooling until he graduates high school, given by Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto’s personal secretary Rizky Irmansyah.
An unnamed citizen also gave RZ a brand new bike, while his neighbors pooled money to give to the young boy.