Killing of teen for ‘blasphemy’ stokes ire in Syria

AFP-JIJI

Dozens of Syrians demonstrated in Aleppo on Tuesday, calling for the arrest and punishment of extremists who executed a teenager accused of “blasphemy,” a watchdog group said.

“Dozens of young men demonstrated outside the . . . Islamic court in the Shaar district of Aleppo to demand the arrest and punishment of the killers of the child martyr Mohammad Qattaa,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

A video filmed by activists and distributed by the Observatory showed a group of demonstrators waving the flag of the Syrian uprising as they protested in the Aleppo neighborhood on Tuesday.

Qattaa, 14, was executed Sunday by a group of Islamist fighters believed to be from outside Syria who accused him of blasphemy for using a common Arabic phrase that refers to the Prophet Muhammad. The Observatory said the boy was executed in front of his parents, shot in the mouth and the neck.