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Ethiopian imam arrested after he said Muslims who do not pray should be ‘burned and killed’

An Ethiopian imam has been charged in Switzerland for inciting violence after he allegedly called for the killing of Muslims who do not practice Islam, the Winterthur public prosecutor’s office said in a statement on Friday (11 August).

The imam, who was charged on 2 August with several other offenses, is also accused of posting violent images of murders on Facebook and sharing them with other people.

The Swiss prosecutors have reportedly demanded that the imam be expelled from the country with a 15-year ban on returning. They also sought a suspended sentence for inciting hatred and violence.

The Ethiopian was also found to be working without a permit, which is a violation of the Aliens Act.

The imam’s alleged hate speech dates back to late 2016. Police had raided the An’Nur mosque in Winterthur in November 2016 after receiving evidence of his radical speeches. Four people, including the imam, were arrested during the raid, The Local’s Switzerland edition reported.

The accused was under investigation since then and the mosque was shut down in June this year.

During one sermon, the imam had allegedly called on the worshippers to expel the Muslims who do not pray regularly. He even said that those who still refuse to practice Islam even after expulsion should be burned and killed in their homes, according to RT News.

The Swiss prosecutors reportedly said that proceedings against two of three people, who were arrested along with the imam, were terminated on 18 July, while the investigation against the third is nearing completion.

Police reportedly arrested ten people linked to the case in February. They were accused of carrying out a brutal attack on two Muslims suspected of being the whistleblowers in the imam’s case.

The now-closed mosque faced several accusations in the past of having links to terror groups, but the mosque had denied all the allegations, the Local wrote.

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