A video being circulated on social media outlets in which an unidentified Egyptian is being stripped naked and assaulted by an unidentified assailant has sparked outrage.
Egyptians on social are claiming that the Egyptian in the video was being punished by his Kuwaiti “kafeel” (sponsor) after mistakenly exchanging an undamaged cell phone at a store with a damaged one. The store is believed to be owned by the Kuwaiti sponsor, according to several Facebook accounts from Egyptian expats in Kuwait.
“We have opened ongoing communication with the Kuwaiti interior ministry to obtain information about the video or the identity of the Egyptian person who appeared in the video, as he did not notify us or our consulate regarding the incident,” Egyptian ambassador to Kuwait Yasser Atef told Daily News Egypt on Sunday.
The ambassador asserted that the embassy is now trying to reach the Egyptian in the video through the help of Kuwaiti interior ministry, noting that if the footage’s content was verified the embassy would undertake legal measures against the assailant assaulting the Egyptian citizen.
The “kafala” or sponsorship system is used to monitor migrant labourers, a large portion of whom work in construction and in the domestic sector in Gulf countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar.
The official spokesperson of Egyptian Foreign Ministry Ahmed Abou Zaid told Daily News Egypt on Sunday that it still verifying the accuracy of the video and an official press release will follow.
Egyptian Minister of Immigration Affairs Nabila Makram asserted that her ministry is in ongoing communication with Kuwaiti authorities to verify the content of the footage and identify whether the individual who appeared in the video is Kuwaiti or not.
She indicated in an official press statement issued from her office that communication is being carried out with the Kuwaiti interior ministry to verify the date of the video’s recording, place and other data related to its source.
Earlier in 2015, Egyptian expat Ahmed Atef was killed and two Egyptians nationals and one Kuwaiti citizen were seriously injured, allegedly as a result of a fight between Egyptian workers and two Kuwaitis in an electronics shop in Rehab Mall in Kuwait.
The fight purportedly broke out between a group of Kuwaitis and Egyptian expat worker Mohamed Amin when they purportedly differed over a set price of a PlayStation game console. The two Kuwaitis wanted to buy the console at half its price, but Amin refused. They then reportedly began insulting him, and Amin asked them to leave the shop.