Saudi Arabia executes Sheikh Nimr

Saudi Arabia executes Sheikh Nimr

Saudi Arabia has executed Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in defiance of international calls for the release of the prominent Shia cleric.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA), citing the kingdom’s Interior Ministry said that Sheikh al-Nimr was executed along with 46 others on Saturday.  

Sheikh Nimr was shot by Saudi police and arrested in 2012 in the Qatif region of Shia-dominated Eastern Province.

The cleric has been a strong critic of the Al Saud monarchy and its brutal policies

 Saudi Arabia’s Qatif region was the scene of peaceful anti-regime demonstrations in recent years

He was charged with making anti-regime speeches and defending political dissidents and prisoners.

Mohammad, Sheikh Nimr’s brother, has strongly denounced Riyadh’s decision, which he said, was a negative response to the Shia cleric’s pro-democracy demands.

Several rights groups and the UK-based Amnesty International also criticized the process of Sheikh Nimr’s trial and said it views the charges against the cleric as his right to free speech. 

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had also recently urged Saudi rulers to revoke the cleric’s death verdict.

Human rights organizations say Saudi Arabia has persistently implemented repressive policies that stifle freedom of expression, association and assembly.

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