A boy in Taiwan is fighting for his life after being slammed to the floor 27 times during judo practice by his coach and classmate.
The seven-year-old boy convinced his family he wanted to give judo lessons in April. Just two weeks after, those lessons are the reason he’s lying in a coma, and is likely to remain in a vegetative state even if he survives.
In a viral video doing rounds the boy can be heard screaming “my leg”, “my head” and “I don’t want it!” but his coach keeps ordering him to stand up and tells an older boy to go on throwing him.
When he was too weak to get up, the coach, much bigger than him, picks him up and throws him several times as well. At one point, the child vomits, but the “training” doesn’t stop.
Altogether, his family says, he was thrown more than 27 times.
The boy eventually passed out and was taken to a hospital where doctors found he had suffered severe brain haemorrhaging. He is now in a coma and on life support.
The coach in his 60s been detained for investigation on suspicion of negligence causing serious injury. He has denied any wrongdoing, according to the Taichung District Court.
The district prosecutor initially released him following questioning, accepting his explanation that what had happened to the boy was part of “normal training”.
But after the child’s family held a news conference, the court said there was evidence to suspect the coach might have committed a serious crime and there was a risk of collusion with witnesses, so it granted a prosecution request to place him in incommunicado detention.
While it is considered normal in Asian culture for parents and teachers to discipline children in harsh ways, this case has shocked Taiwan and raised questions if this pattern should continue.