A video uploaded to YouTube appears to show Spanish riot police hitting a 13-year-old boy during an anti-austerity protest in the Catalonian city of Tarragona on Wednesday.
The video shows the security guards, wielding helmets, batons and shields, chasing the boy and clubbing him violently as he lay crouched on the ground. The police then turned on a young girl, who had confronted them for attacking the boy, and struck her hard in the midriff.
The boy’s parents told the Catalonian news website delCamp.cat that they had been demonstrating in the streets when they suddenly found themselves in the middle of a police raid. According to the parents, police started beating up their 13 year-old son for no reason.
According to HuffPost Spain, General director of the police forces in Catalonia, Manuel Prat, promised the assault will be investigated. Prat claimed the boy was part of a picket that was throwing objects at police agents. “I can’t guarantee the 13 year-old boy was throwing objects, but he was definitely part of that picket,” Prat said.
Much like other financially-troubled European countries, Spain has seen nationwideprotests against austerity measures imposed by the Rajoy government.
The protests have been spurred by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government's decision to raise taxes, cut spending, and introduce labor reforms. Millions of workers across Europe went on strike on Wednesday to protest against spending cut.