Video clip exposes fear of harassment

Jeddah: Md Al-Sulaimi

Published — Thursday 24 October 2013

Last update 8 November 2013 4:02 am

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A video clip of a staged murder posted on social media networks has sparked a debate among residents in the Kingdom over whether or not to report such incidents.
The video clip shows two people carrying a corpse, dumping it on a road and fleeing.
Entitled “Handing over the corpse,” the video captures bystanders' reactions at the corpse being dumped. The video has created controversy, since many have said that they would be reluctant to report such incidents for fear of being questioned by authorities.
The video was filmed at locations frequented by youngsters, including Radeff Park in Taif. The body was covered in fake blood.
Bystanders' reactions were then recorded. Some were observed attempting to take down the vehicle's registration number, while others either fled the scene or took photographs.
Some social media users have expressed their reluctance to report such incidents for fear of being harassed or for fear of being responsible for an innocent individual going to jail.
Col. Fahad Al-Habdan, a spokesman for Qassim Police, tweeted his reservations on the methods adopted by the group to highlight such incidents.
“There have been instances when pedestrians walk away from an accident site where the victims are bleeding. Can someone be so cold-hearted as to turn away from a person in distress?” he wondered.
One citizen suggested that establishing a hotline would be helpful.
Legal adviser Khalid Abu Rashid said that a new policy stipulates that the identity of individuals reporting crimes should be kept confidential. He said police should protect those who report crimes and accidents and encourage citizens and residents to cooperate.
Ashraf Al-Saeed, a psychologist, said a “reporting” culture can be achieved through different means. “We should fight corruption and fraud through education.”
Al-Saeed said the role of family is no less important than that of schools.
Visual media also has an important role to play, he said. Fear, he said, springs from the need to be secure, which is natural, but can be dangerous when one is unnecessarily fearful.

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