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Saudi Arabia executes 47, including Shia cleric

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Saudi Arabia has executed 47 “terrorists”, according to the interior ministry, including Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr and al-Qaeda-affiliated Faris al-Zahrani.

In a press release read on state TV on Saturday, the ministry listed the names of all those it said were already convicted on charges of terrorism.

The death sentence of Nimr al-Nimr, who led anti-government protests in the country’s east, was confirmed by the Supreme Court in October.Al-Zahani, once considered one of Saudi Arabia’s “most wanted terrorists”, was detained in 2004 while allegedly in possession of weapons.

Among those executed were an Egyptian citizen and a Chadian citizen, the ministry said.

It added that those convicted had participated in attacks against residential compounds and government buildings.

The announcement comes just days after Amnesty international said that Saudi Arabia executed at least 151 people in 2015, the most beheadings in 20 years.

“The Saudi Arabian authorities appear intent on continuing a bloody execution spree,” Amnesty’s report released on Monday said, quoting James Lynch, deputy director at the Middle East and North Africa programme. It is the most people put to death in the kingdom in one year since 1995, when 192 executions were reportedly carried out.

Amnesty said the large number of executions shed further light on what the London-based human rights group referred to as unfair judicial proceedings, with a disproportionate imposition of capital punishment on foreign nationals.

“Of the 63 people executed this year for drug-related charges, the vast majority, 45 people, were foreign nationals,” the report said.

Khalid al-Dakhil, a Saudi political commentator based in Riyadh, challenged “the integrity” of Amnesty’s report, saying it failed to mention Iran’s execution record.

“Iran executes far more people a year than Saudi Arabia, but it does not get the negative publicity Saudi Arabia has. This is something that must be addressed,” Dakhil told Al Jazeera.

Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, the United States, and Iraq are the top five countries with the most executions. AL JAZEERA

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  1. Dear Fahiem,

    Do you really think that our Prophet Muhammed would approve of us Sunni Muslims killing other Muslims simply because they practise a slightly different version of Islam? I think not.

    If you feel so strongly about killing Shias at the start, please feel free to build a time machine so that you can go back in time and kill all the Shias by yourself. Also don’t expect others to join you in this. If you don’t have the scientific know how, then feel free to leave South Africa and join ISIL and their ilk.

    Please keep in mind, that the Saudis don’t practise Islam according to Sunnah, rather it is their own interpretation through Wahhabi doctrines. Hence, they too are misleading the ummah.

    Your extremist attitude towards other Muslims here in South Africa, is not welcome.

  2. Fahiem Khan, your reply is disgraceful. In the days of Apartheid, anyone who disagreed with the government was a communist or a terrorist. That is why many Muslims either kept their heads down, “ja bass, nee bass, or they collaborated with the regime or spied on activists. That is our history. Today those people are nowhere to be found. In fact, everyone was an activist.

    I do not wish to convince you about anything at all. I have the right to believe in Allah or not. That right is affirmed in multiple places in the Quran. No Alim, Imam or Mawlana can that away from me. I have the freedom to associate with whomsoever I wish. I have the right to say what I want. My only constraint is the rights that other people have.

    If you want to believe that the earth is flat, if you want to propagate that view and if you want to associate with those who share your view then that is your right.

    This Ummah has been so misled that even enemies of Islam became its leaders. People who were the equivalent of the Broederbond and the Afrikaner Weerstand Beweging and the Witwolwe and Witdoeke had became leaders of Muslims. We are so messed up that we say may Allah be pleased with them. It is like saying may Allah be pleased with Eugene Terreblanche and Oupa Gozo.

    But Fahiem Khan, your mind is made up. You are immune to persuasion by facts. You do not read the Quran but opinions of Imams and Mawlanas who eat at the tables of the powerful. I can assure you that if you have ever fought in a struggle for justice in your own country then only will you make sense of the history of Islam. We have seen people betray our own struggle. People who were in the ANC, UDF, prison, underground and exile they looked after themselves and their families. We are prepared to recognise that Nkandla is a betrayal of our struggle. But in Islam even enemies become revolutionaries.

    Sheikh Nimr is not diminished by you. However, you might find that on the day that you need it most, your salah, fasting, umra, zakaat, sadaqat and hajj are not on your scales. In fact you carry burdens which you had not actually initiated. Then you will realise. Sheikh Nimr and all those “bloody shias” that you had cursed had been granted your good deeds.

    Fahiem Khan thank you for your generosity.

    1. Dear Fahiem,

      How about we foster love and tolerance between the different Muslim groups here in South Africa, especially between Sunni and Shia?

      This way we can show the world that Islam is the true religion of peace.

      You do realise that the world will continue to see us as a backward peoples who cant bring peace in their own communities, if we continue to kill each other over theological differences?


    "No one had any idea that the executions were to be taking place right away, not even the men themselves… The men were in iron cages, with shackled hands and feet." — Sister of the Dehghani brothers, to the Roozonline News Agency.
    The charges against all six men were "enmity of God," punishable by death in Iran's penal code. They were among the 33 Sunni men currently on death row in Iran.
    "The Iranian authorities are executing them over charges that appear to be fabricated and after grossly unfair trials." — Amnesty International's Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
    "Ever since the rise of ISIS, the regime has become more brazen and stepped up executions. They do not have a care in the world; not many countries are paying attention to Iran's human rights much any more." — Iranian activist.
    "We have had our own ISIS here for 36 years now." — Iranian activist

  4. When I read the Quran then I understand that the killing of one innocent person, Sunni, Shia, Christian, Jew, Hindu, Sikh, indigenous American, atheist, agnostic, pagan is equivalent to killing the whole of mankind. My protest is not about Sheikh Nimr as a Shia. He is a symbol of how precarious our existence is when the state exercises power.

    Why do people find this kind of thinking so hard to accept. Every state identifies its enemies on some or other basis. As people, we should cherish the rights that are inalienably ours. Every power that the state claims for itself should be justified.

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