Execution of Sheikh Nimr Surely Spark Unrest in Saudi Shiite Dominant Regions

Sat Jan 2, 2016 12:57:24

Execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr may spark new unrest among Saudi Arabia's Shiites, largely concentrated in kingdom's east.

Saudi Arabia on Saturday executed 47 people convicted of "terrorism", including a prominent Shiite cleric known for his sermons criticizing the kingdom’s government and for his support of political anti-government protests, Middle East Online Reports.


The Top Shia cleric, Martyr Nimr al-Nimr, was a driving force of the protests that broke out in 2011 in the Sunni-ruled kingdom's Eastern Province, where the Shiite minority complains of marginalization and Corruption.

But the list does not include Nimr's nephew, Ali al-Nimr, who was 17 when he was arrested following the protests.

The killing of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr may spark new unrest among Saudi Arabia's Shiite minority, largely concentrated in the kingdom's east, and in Bahrain, which has seen revolutionary protest since 2011 protests by its Shiite majority demanding having rights from its Sunni brutal monarchy which cracking down protesters.

""If injustice stops against Shiites in the east, then (at that point) I can have a different opinion," the cleric responded, according to his brother Mohammed, who attended court sessions."

Al-Nimr has been a vocal critic of the government of the tiny island nation of Bahrain. Saudi Arabia invade Bahrain to suppress the uprising, fearing it would spread inside.

Before his arrest in 2012, al-Nimr had said the people do not want rulers who kill and carry out injustices against protesters. He was asked at his trial if he disapproves of the Al Saud ruling family.

Martyr Sheikh Al-Nimr did not deny the political charges against him, but said he never carried weapons or called for violence.

Saudi Arabia carried out at least 157 executions in 2015, with beheadings reaching their highest level in the kingdom in two decades, according to several advocacy groups that monitor the death penalty worldwide.

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