Asia-Pacific

Philippines police suspended over 'torture' video

A woman points at the screen as she watches a TV broadcast that includes mobile phone footage of police allegedly torturing a naked man in Manila (18 August 2010)
Image caption It is not known when the film was made, nor what eventually happened to the suspect

The authorities in the Philippines are investigating mobile phone footage that appears to show police torturing a man.

In the video, the suspected thief is seen lying naked on the floor, while a plain-clothed policeman pulls sharply on a rope tied to his genitals.

The footage was broadcast live on national television on Tuesday.

Manila's chief of police has suspended all the officers at a police station in the capital's Tondo district, where the incident is believed to have happened.

'Disgusting'

Allegations of torture in the Philippines are nothing new, but rarely is there such graphic evidence.

The video clearly shows the victim lying on the floor of a police station, in a foetal position.

A plain-clothed policeman whips him and tugs at a cord around his penis, while another officer looks on.

National police chief Jesus Verzosa said the violence was disgusting and totally unwarranted.

The alleged torturer has now been removed from his post - and may face criminal charges - and every member of the police station concerned has been suspended, pending an inquiry.

The mobile phone footage came to light when an unnamed informant handed it to a local television station.

It is not known when the film was made, nor what eventually happened to the suspect.