Family pleads for viral video victim's whereabouts
The family of a young man shown being savagely assaulted in a viral video on social media are pleading for information about the whereabouts of their relative.
On Sunday afternoon, an online video surfaced showing a group of men huddled over a young man whose feet and hands were bound with green rope.
The victim has been identified on Facebook posts but the Samoa Observer has chosen not to identify him without receiving confirmation of his identity and welfare.
The video begins in the middle of an apparent group assault while the young victim cries for help. The incident appears to take place in a wharf or similar setting.
The video shows more than five men standing around throwing punches at the young man on the ground who continues to cry and beg for mercy.
The abused man’s apparent sister told the Samoa Observer that they have been trying to locate his brother since the video surfaced.
It is unclear whether or not he is alive or seriously injured.
"For now I cannot give out any information on my brother until I can reassure all of the people involved. We are clarifying that nothing is for sure until I find my brother," she said.
The young man calls out "please uncle" several times in the video.
Meanwhile, a voice off-camera constantly suggests "kill him". Another voice in the background suggests using the excess rope to tie his mouth to keep him quiet.
The conversation in the video alleges the abuse stems from conflict over a theft the victim was alleged to have been involved in.
When the victim gets the chance to sit up his face can be seen covered in blood and swollen despite the low-quality video.
"I did nothing, please my brother, Va'a, please brother," he said as he continued to cry.
Towards the end of the video, a man also suggested that they drag the beaten young man behind a moving car.
Eventually they loosened the ropes on his feet and he was given the chance to stand up, before being struck again and called a "thief" and a "liar".
Police were contacted for a comment but no response was received as of press time.