Manama: The foreign worker who was filmed being beaten up by a Saudi national said that he was attacked after he asked for SR200 owed to him by his attacker.

The expatriate, a Bangladeshi national, said that he worked at a laundry in the town of Buraidah in northcentral Saudi Arabia.

"On the day of the incident, the client walked into the shop at around 11am to take his clothes," he told Saudi news site Sabq.

"I told him that he had to pay SR200 for all the other times when he did not pay for the cleaning services. However, he did not react, took the clothes and walked out. I followed him and tried to hold on to the clothes.

"He then took off his agal (the headband, usually knit from wool) and started beating me. He then took a piece of wood and hit me real hard, causing me several wounds."

The employee said that he had known the customer for 15 days.

"He always came on foot, and even on the day he beat me, he walked away. There was no car."

The Bangladeshi man said he was not aware that the dramatic beating had been caught on camera.

"I knew about it only when the police came to ask me about the incident. They recorded my testimony and thereafter arrested him. I heard that he told the police I was the one who attacked him," he said.

The aggressor was referred to the investigation commission and the public prosecution.

The video clip of the Saudi repeatedly hitting the expatriate worker went viral on the Internet, prompting the police to move into action.

“With reference to the video clip that was circulated on social media and which showed an expatriate being beaten by a Saudi man following a fight between them over a financial issue, the police have been able to identify the aggressor,” Bader Al Sahibani, the media spokesperson for the police in Al Qassim, said on Monday.

“The initial measures have taken against him and he was referred to the investigation commission and to the public prosecution."

Social media users harshly criticised the Saudi for beating the worker, saying that that whatever the reason for their difference, it should not degenerate into a physical fight.

Most users called for action against the men who looked passively at the assault and did nothing to stop it or to calm the spirits, saying they were accomplices in the aggression.