A “social educator” detained on Saturday by the Guardia Civil, following serious accusations alleging aggression towards a resident of Arguineguín, Kevin L., 28, in the southwestern Gran Canaria municipality of Mogán, on December 9, has been released. The detained man, Rachid, was working, alongside a female colleague, at the time of the alleged altercation, to monitor and chaperone a small group of teenage minors on an outing. He was released from custody without further restrictions of any sort being deemed necessary, having spent this Monday at the disposal of the investigating Court of Instruction number 1 in the neighbouring municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, where a preliminary hearing was held on Tuesday. Both the prosecutor and the judge rejected outright the need for “precautionary measures” as requested by the accuser, and alleged victim, Kevín L., who also appeared before the court, under investigation on similar charges, according to sources close to Rachid’s defense. The full hearing has been scheduled for January.
Meanwhile, several videos of the moments prior to the reported assault, and of the subsequent incident at a health center to which they were transferred, have been doing the rounds on social networks. Images and voice recordings from the videos appear to irrevocably upend the version first given by Kevin L., in his denuncia complaint before the Guardia Civil, which had led to the, alleged instigator, Rachid’s arrest last Saturday.
“All the evidence, from the images, the cameras, the videos and the testimony of the witnesses make it clear that the version that Kevin gave was not real,” explained Rachid’s lawyer Mouna Sikabi.
In the video images, widely shared, it can be clearly seen how Kevin approaches the group of teenagers, whom he rebukes and insults while he holds a bottle of vodka alcopop in one hand, which tends to cast doubt over his version, saying that he had gone out for a run, before being attacked, “by a group of 20”, while trying to defend some tourist girls who were being intimidated. Nowhere in any of the imagery can these tourists be found, nor are teenagers seen attacking or threatening the young man.
According to Rachid’s defense, in the images that quickly went viral, it can be seen clearly how Kevin L. approaches the group of teenage boys and begins to insult them, before Rachid then approaches and takes him away from the group, to talk to him, apparently in an attempt to prevent him from assaulting them. “He wanted to keep him away from the children to protect them,” Sikabi explains. According to his initial testimony, the monitor tried at all times to calm the situation and keep the minors safe.
He adds that the injuries suffered by both Kevin and Rachid are due to their both falling to the ground in an area of rocks, after Kevin allegedly physically pushed Rachid first, during their confrontation, after reprimanding the teenagers who were in his charge along with the other monitor. “He tried to push him and when he fell, Rachid caught himself and they both fell,” the lawyer adds. In fact, they have various wounds on their backs. In Rachid’s case, the injuries he suffered were then increased following a further attack, allegedly perpetrated by Kevin and his brother, and clearly seen in another video widely circulated, which many people had initially understood to be Kevin allegedly under attack, however it is clear from the clothing he wore, that Kevin was not in fact the alleged victim there either. Both Kevin and his brother are also being investigated by the Guardia Civil, who have studied the video footage of this second attack which also recorded racist insults towards both Rachid and the other monitor.
“Insulted, Harassed and Pointed Out” in Premature Trial by Social Media
Since the claims and videos were repeatedly shared across social media, including by political groups of a particular persuasion, widespread threats, insults and harassment has been occuring, aimed at Rachid and towards the other monitor, herself only 21 years of age, who witnessed and recorded the scenes. They say the intensity of the hatred expressed is such that they will likely take legal action to ensure it does not result in further physical or online intimidation. “They have been insulted, harassed and pointed out on social networks. This is all very sad, ” the lawyer added. Those most responsible for the wider sharing of many inaccurate statements regarding the images have even publicly identified the young woman on social networks, publishing her personal details and data and declaring her also to be unfit as an educator, and a social health professional, among many other outrageous insults.
Threats to public safety reached their climax last Saturday when at least fifty individuals took it upon themselves to gather at one of the, otherwise, empty tourist apartment complexes where a number of recently arrived migrants, in no way involved in the original events, have been staying temporarily, while they await transfer to other more suitable accommodation. “A hoax has generated a very sad and dangerous situation,” emphasised the lawyer.
Rachid has denounced and filed charges against Kevin L and his brother for their alleged aggression, to which he was subjected, at the health centre. His denuncia (complaint) has been included in the same legal proceedings, now in the hands of the Court of Instruction number 1 in San Bartolomé de Tirajana. They too will request precautionary protection measures for Rachid and the other monitor in order to safeguard them from further intimidation.
The full facts of the case are expected to be revealed in January, when all the evidence is to be heard in court.