Dubai: A video went viral on social media of a father who was shown mercilessly beating his baby girl.
The video showing an Arab man beating his baby girl to get her to stand up angered many.
Celebrities and influencers shared the video on their social media feeds to push authorities to find the father — and save to the girl.
Some also tagged Unicef, the UN agency dealing with children-related issues.
Lebanese celebrity Nadine Njeim posted the video, which was viewed by more than 1.2 million viewers, and commented: “I am sorry to post such painful scenes but I could not ignore cruelty, lack of humanity and mercy in this video! We demand to hang this devil and everyone who participated in this crime in front of all people and protect the girl!!! We call on associations and governments to show solidarity to protect children from these disgusting people!!! God will burn you in hell, you’re a street rat!”
Another social media influencer called @youssefsteev posted the video calling on authorities to save the baby girl. “I wish our voice reaches all governments, and they move to stop this man.”
The video drew more than 31,000 views and comments, people were asking for the man to be hanged, and everyone was saying prayers for the girl.
As the video went viral, voices grew louder in the digital world calling for governments to look for the erring father.
Jordan said that the man is not to be found there, but identified him as a Palestinian living in Saudi Arabia.
Omar Zorba, a famous Jordanian blogger, also posted information on the man saying he lives in Saudi Arabia. "He is known to be a weird man by his colleagues. He doesn’t speak to any of them and none of them even know his phone number. He has two girls and a boy.”
Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development spokesperson Khaled Aba Khail tweeted: "The Violence Reporting Center is verifying the video and looking for the man who appeared abusing a child. Colleagues are coordinating with the competent authorities to reach the man. The Saudi child protection system and its executive regulations will be applied on him."
After hours of social media interactions and sharing of the video and the rising demands for retribution against the battered father, the latter appeared in a video justifying his brutal act.
He said he wanted to teach his daughter to walk by beating her and said that the video is "old".
He added that his wife who left the house two weeks ago was the one who published the video to avenge him.
The father who showed the battered girl to be older now, started apologising to the people and authorities. He justified his action by saying: "I was teaching the girl to walk, look she is walking well now."
He added that the mother left him two weeks ago with their four children .
I’ve been taking care of my four children for the last two weeks. They are not abused now. They are all fine. It's an old video and I have repented to God. Back then I was going through psychological problems.”
His justification has angered people even more, stressing that the four children have to be saved. They said that if the man is mentally ill, he should be placed in a mental institution.
The Saudi police this morning, meanwhile, posted on their social media feed that the man was arrested.
His four children were taken away from him. "Riyadh police arrests a Palestinian resident for torturing his three-year-old daughter and provide care for his four children in coordination with the concerned authorities," police said.