​Brutal murder of 6-year-old Saudi boy 'act of sectarianism'

TEHRAN, Feb. 12 – The brutal murder of a six-year-old boy in Saudi Arabia has shaken the collective conscience of humanity. It has also unraveled the scale and magnitude of sectarian indoctrination in the Kingdom.

The news has been verified and according to reliable sources the boy, Zakaria Al-Jaber, was in the holy city of Medina with his mother to visit the shrine of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) when the tragic incident took place.

Many different versions of the incident have been reported in different media outlets. The most reliable version says the boy and his mother were traveling to the green-domed shrine, one of the two holiest shrines for Muslims, in a taxi when the driver got inkling that they were Shias.

The taxi driver immediately stopped the car near a coffee shop in Al-Tilal neighborhood and forced the boy out. Then he smashed a glass bottle and with a shard of broken glass slit the boy's throat and stabbed him in front of his screaming mother.

The helpless mother tried to stop the assailant but he managed to overpower her. She cried out for help but nobody came. Then she collapsed on the ground, next to the bleeding body of her tender-aged son.

According to TMV, a broadcaster that shared the footage of slain boys funeral on its website, a cop near the site tried to stop the driver but was unable to save the boy. The incident occurred in broad daylight last Thursday.

TMV quoted officials in Saudi Arabia saying that the taxi driver had mental health issues but local residents were quoted as saying that it was an act of sectarianism.

Shia Rights Watch also confirmed that in an unprecedented incident the child was brutally killed after the assailant came to know about his Shia identity.

The rights group, in a statement said, the unidentified assailant had asked the mother if she was Shia when they were heading to the holy shrine, and she had answered Yes.

Minutes after that, the statement added, the car stopped and the child was dragged out of the car and mercilessly attacked with a broken piece of glass, quoting witness reports that the child was attacked from behind his head as his mother watched and screamed helplessly.

There was no intervention from anyone and no response from authorities thus far, the statement noted.

People in the community where the boy and his mother live came together to mourn the tragedy and denounce the growing number of sectarian incidents in the country and lack of action against the perpetrators.

The rights group said the Shias in Saudi Arabia have been under a military crackdown by their government and many Shia activists are languishing in prisons and [sentenced to] death.

According to sources, the regime in Riyadh has given free hand to state and non-state actors to inflict harm on Shias and force them into submission. That is precisely what emboldens people like this taxi driver to commit such a horrendous crime and possibly get away with it, said a source.

Shias in the country have been under fire since too long now. In a statement July last year, following the execution of four Shias men in country's eastern province, Amnesty International said the Saudi regime was employing the death penalty as a political weapon to silence dissent.

The watchdog said it has documented the cases of at least 34 other Shia men currently on death row, including Ali al-Nimr, Dawood Hussein al-Marhoon and Abdollah Hasan al-Zaher.

Ali al-Nimr, Shaheed Baqir Nimrs nephew, was framed under dubious charges of participating in pro-democracy rallies in 2012 at the age of 17, and sentenced to death by crucifixion.
Meanwhile, social media has been flooded with posts condemning this atrocious crime and the regime that provides impunity for such crimes.

This little boy is 6 years old; he was brutally killed in Saudi Arabia, his crime? Being the wrong sect, tweeted Madiha Raza. This, amongst many others, is an unbearable injustice perpetrated by the Saudi ideology.

There wouldn't be enough media coverage on the brutal killing of this Shia boy in Medina, tweeted Syed Akram Hussain. Remember, the whole world stood on their toes when a Saudi journalist was killed in Turkey.

This is what sectarian brainwashing does, and it benefits no one but the Satanic powers (Zionist entity, NATO etc). Sectarianism keeps us down and costs innocent blood, tweeted Ali Salaam.

However, despite the outcry on social media with hashtag #JusticeForZakaria, Saudi authorities have so far taken no action. As a Saudi source said, the case will be quietly brushed under the carpet of Mohammad Bin Salmans grand palace.

MNA/TT

News Code 142433

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