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Police and Crime

Police investigate video evidence of brutal beating of students

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

The Tonga Police are investigating evidence of a brutal beating of young male students by another male student, said to be a prefect, in a corporal punishment rite captured on a grainy video that was posted on the internet You-Tube last week and quickly spread to other webpages.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Koloale'o Soakai said today that the police had recently received a copy of the 18 minutes video of corporal punishment, identified to have taken place at Tonga College in 2011.

She said police had notified the Ministry of Education in Nuku'alofa regarding the matter and it was understood the Ministry was also looking into the video.

"The information we have received is that the student who carried out the punishment was a prefect, who is no longer a student, and the reason for the punishment was due to a mobile phone that was lost. The video took place in one the boarding dormitories at the school. But we are investigating this matter," she said.

The Deputy Commissioner said they were only acting on the matter now since this was the first time they had seen the video on the internet. Any type of assault or beating is unlawful in Tonga, she said.

The video has since been widely viewed on social networks such as Facebook showing the unidentified male student weilding a large stick repeatedly hitting a number of male students on their bottoms, backs and legs, in an assault, which went on for 18 minutes.