A Syrian refugee shepherd identifying himself as Ahmed Hilal was violently slapped by Turkish government employees in the Ceylanpınar district of Şanlıurfa province in southeastern Turkey, according to a viral video that has stirred anger among users on social media.
The video shows Hilal answering questions by men identified on social media as security employees working under the state-run General Directorate of Agricultural Enterprises (TİGEM).
Hilal was reportedly tending to sheep, seen in the video, near an area the officers said he was not permitted to, according to Turkish media reports.
While the exact date of when the incident could not be indecently verified, a search of the video on Twitter showed it was posted as early as May 29 by users from the Şanlıurfa, also known as Urfa, province which is on the border with Syria.
“Violence against a shepherd who grazes animals in Şanlıurfa Ceylanpınar. He thinks that he will use violence wherever he wants, wearing any uniform, in any way. Because he is aware that there will be profit for what he does,” wrote Said Sefa, a Turkish journalist.
Turkish police beating an Arab shepherd in Ceylanpınar opposite to the occupied #Serekaniye/Ras al Ayn.— Kendal Uzun (@Kendal_Uzun) June 1, 2020
These officers confidently filmed their action and posted it online.@TurkeyAffairs @Hevallo @davidgraeber#BlackLivesMatter #PoliceBrutality https://t.co/YW9xPiv8N7
The latest incident comes less than a week since Turkish police killed a young Syrian refugee southern city of Adana for breaking coronavirus curfew restrictions. Police in the city said they accidentally shot Ali El Hamdan, said to be between 17 and 19-years-old after he was caught on his way to work during curfew hours.