TEHRAN, Dec 13_Iraq’s top Shia cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has strongly condemned lynching of a 16-year-old teenager by a group of protesters in Baghdad’s Al Wathba Square, warning about the consequences of such brutality.
TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club(YJC)_In a statement read out by his representative during a sermon on Friday, Ayatollah Sistani said the recurrence of such crimes will impact the stability of Iraq and peaceful demonstrations in the country.
The top cleric expressed regret that a huge crowd of people stood idly by and just watched and even participated in the heinous crime. He called for the punishment of those behind the violence.
“The gruesome murder and hanging of the victim is a crime whose perpetrators must be held accountable,” Ayatollah Sistani said.
On Thursday, a group of “protesters” in Baghdad stabbed into death and cut the throat of Haitham Ali Ismael before hanging him by his ankles.
The boy had been berating the protesters for three days for obstructing the street beside his house and making noise, but he had been largely ignored.
Witnesses said he climbed up onto the roof of his house on Thursday and began shooting in the air with a pistol in order to shoo the protesters away from his family’s home.
That prompted a mob of protesters to barge into his small house at the edge of the Al Wathba Square where Haitham lived with his mother and stabbed him for 17 times.
Then they took him outside, pulled off his clothes, dragged him bleeding through the streets, hung him by his ankles from a traffic light pole and cut his throat.