Islamists said to execute 15-year-old Syrian boy for heresy

AMMAN Sun Jun 9, 2013 6:41pm EDT

Related Topics

AMMAN (Reuters) - Members of an al Qaeda-linked Islamist group in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo executed a 15-year-old boy in front of his parents on Sunday as punishment for what the group regarded as a heretical comment, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Mohammad Qataa was shot in the face and neck a day after being seized, said the pro-opposition monitoring group, which is based in Britain and uses a network of observers across Syria.

"The Observatory cannot ignore these crimes, which only serve the enemies of the revolution and the enemies of humanity," said the group's leader Rami Abdulrahman.

A photo released by the Observatory showed Qataa's face with his mouth and jaw bloodied and destroyed, as well as a bullet wound in his neck.

The Observatory, which based its report on witness accounts of the killing, said Qataa, who was a street vendor selling coffee in the working-class Shaar neighborhood, had been arguing with someone when he was overheard saying: "Even if the Prophet Mohammad comes down (from heaven), I will not become a believer."

The gunmen, who belong to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a militant group that started off known as the Nusra Front, took Qatta on Saturday and brought him back alive in the early hours of Sunday to his wooden stand, with whiplash marks visible on his body.

"People gathered around him and a member of the fighting brigade said: 'Generous citizens of Aleppo, disbelieving in God is polytheism and cursing the prophet is a polytheism. Whoever curses even once will be punished like this."

"He then fired two bullets from an automatic rifle in view of the crowd and in front of the boy's mother and father, and got into a car and left," the report said.

Abdulrahman said the boy's mother had pleaded with the killers, whose Arabic suggested they might not be Syrian, not to shoot her son. Qataa's parents said the youth had taken part in pro-democracy demonstrations in Aleppo.

Since last year, large parts of the city have fallen under the control of Islamist brigades, including the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, as well as other rebel units.

(Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Amman newsroom.; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Christopher Wilson)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (18)
oxen wrote:
With such heinous acts, no single Western nation, or leader should be supporting the rebels. The rebels are a total disgrace, killing innocents just based on religion. Syria Govt needs all the support possible to annihilate such barbaric groups. In large measure Qatar and Saudi Arabia are responsible for these terrible crimes against humanity and leaders there need to stop causing pain and suffering to the region.

Jun 09, 2013 7:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
samirazaz wrote:
There is, however, a translation mistake in Reuters’ story. ["Even if the Prophet Mohammad comes down (from heaven), I will not become a believer."] The boy actually said: “Even if the Prophet Mohammad comes down (from heaven), I will not sell on credit.” In Arabic, one and the same word (دين deen) is used for religion/belief and credit!!
Which makes the crime more repulsing!

Jun 10, 2013 3:43am EDT  --  Report as abuse
kenradke11 wrote:
If you execute that young boy you will pay the price you Islamist extremists!!! You cowards!

Jun 10, 2013 8:08am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Pictures