Tougher action urged on ‘happy slapping’

People who film themselves or friends beating up others and put the resulting video on the internet should be dealt with more firmly by the law, MPs said on Friday.

Earlier this week, video website YouTube removed two films showing an autistic 17-year-old boy in Arnhem being bullied by four teenagers.
The practice of ‘happy slapping’ is a ‘scandal’ and the perpetrators must be brought to trial quickly, Labour MP Ton Heerts told ANP news service.
Bamber Delver of the children’s lobby group Kinderconsument also called for faster justice. ‘This would give a signal to young people who seem to think this sort of incident is the most normal thing in the world,’ he told ANP. ‘Uploading films of abuse onto the internet only makes the abuse worse.’
But the public prosecution department says it is not be possible to speed up the legal process for such offences. ‘These sort of cases are much more complicated,’ a spokesman was reported as saying. ‘You need to find out what lies behind the violence. If, for example, it is a question of self-defence.’
The public prosecution department has not yet decided if the four youths involved in the Arnhem incident will be charged with threatening behaviour, violence, intimidation and sexual abuse, ANP reported.
Police are monitoring the situation in the neighbourhood where the five live after threats were made against the bullies on YouTube.
YouTube on Friday also removed a short film featuring a poster of anti-immigration MP Geert Wilders being shot five times.

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