Dec 13, 2019 16:09 UTC
  •  Grand Ayatollah Sistani strongly condemns protesters’ gruesome lynching of teenager

Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ali 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.

In a statement read out by his representative during a sermon on Friday, Grand Ayatollah Sistani said the recurrence of such crimes will impact the stability of Iraq and peaceful demonstrations in the country.

He 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,” Grand Ayatollah 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.

In his Friday statement, the Grand Ayatollah once again urged anti-government protesters to reject acts of violence.

“We stress the peaceful nature of the demonstrations and condemn murder and kidnapping,” he said.

The top religious scholar also noted that the lynching of the Iraqi teenager and similar incidents once again proved that only government forces should have the right to possess weapons.