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Yemeni murdered by extremists after being accused of atheism

Vigilante killings have increased in parts of the world such as Bangladesh [Facebook]

Date of publication: 26 April, 2016

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A young Yemeni man was murdered by vigilantes after receiving death threats due to social media posts he had written, which extremists say were 'critical of Islam'.

A young man in the southern Yemeni city of Aden has reportedly been shot dead by religious extremists.

Omar Mohammad Bataweel had been accused of being an atheist due to several Facebook posts deemed by some Yemenis to be "critical of Islam".

He was abducted outside his home in the Crater district of Aden on Sunday evening, al-Bab reported.

The next day and his body was found in the Sheikh Othman district by local residents.

A source close to Bataweel told local media the young man had received death threats from extremists because of comments on social media that some viewed as critical or against Islam.

Yemeni Nobel Peace Laureate Tawakkol Karman condemned the brutal murder saying it was carried out by extremist vigilantes.

"The crime of Omar's murder in Aden for apostasy is a heinous act of terrorism that will happen again if takfiri ideology is not combated. The local authorities and government must find the killers and put them on trial," she said on Facebook.

Renouncing Islam or apostasy is a crime punishable by death in Yemen as well as Saudi Arabia, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates, but not commonly implemented by authorities.

In 2008, a Yemeni journalist was arrested on charges of drinking alcohol and committing blasphemy. He was later sentenced to receive eighty lashes.

In Saudi Arabia, a court recently reduced a death sentence against a Palestinian poet for apostasy to eight years in prison and 800 lashes.

Another famous case in Saudi Arabia is Raif Badawi, who was arrested in 2012 and brought to court on several charges including insulting Islam using electronic channels, and apostasy.

Badawi was sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes.

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