Thirteen men in Bangladesh were charged Sunday for beating a 13-year-old boy to death last month over theft allegations, according to authorities. After lynching the boy, the assailants reportedly posted a video of the incident on the Internet.
Detective Branch Inspector Suranjit Talukdar of Sylhet metropolitan in northeastern Bangladesh sent the charges against the men to a court in Sylhet city Sunday evening, the Associated Press reported. The main suspect, seen in the video, fled to Saudi Arabia where he was detained, and will face trial after extradition. Police arrested the rest of the accused with the help of local residents, who caught some of the men when they tried to dispose of the boy's body.
The incident reportedly took place in Sundar Ali Market in Kumargaon area in the outskirts of Sylhet. The men accused the teenager, Samiul Rajon, a school dropout and a vegetable vendor, of stealing a bicycle and forced him to confess the theft by beating him. In the 28-minute video, one man is reportedly seen hitting Rajon with a stick for at least 15 minutes.
Rajon pleaded for water and the men told him to drink his sweat, according to reports. The boy is seen crying and requesting the men to stop hitting him. "Don't beat me please, will die, will die," he reportedly told the attackers.
The incident drew national condemnation and triggered protests across the Asian nation. About 36,000 people signed an online petition seeking the “highest punishment possible” for the men.
If convicted of murder, the 13 accused could face death sentence.