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Saudis continue to voice support for Nimr

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People in Saudi Arabia have continued their demonstrations against the death sentence issued for a prominent Shia cleric. According to reports, residents of the village of Awamiyah in the Qatif region of the kingdom’s Eastern Province took to the streets to condemn the death sentence issued for the Saudi cleric, Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr.

The Awamiyah protest, which came nearly one week after a court sentenced him to capital punishment, began on Sunday and is reportedly expected to last for three days.

Several towns of the Eastern Province, including Qatif and neighboring Tarout Island, have been the scene of demonstrations to announce solidarity with Nimr.

The recent spate of demonstrations comes after Nimr was sentenced to death at the Specialized Criminal Court in the Saudi capital city of Riyadh on Wednesday. The prominent Shia cleric was attacked and detained in Qatif in July 2012. His arrest sparked widespread protests in the kingdom, claiming the lives of several anti-government demonstrators.

Sheikh Nimr is accused of disturbing the country’s security, giving anti-regime speeches, and defending political prisoners.

Amnesty International has called the death sentence for Sheikh Nimr “appalling,” saying the verdict should be quashed since it is politically motivated.

International human rights organizations have repeatedly lashed out at Saudi Arabia for failing to address the human rights situation in the kingdom. They say Saudi Arabia has persistently implemented repressive policies that stifle freedom of expression, association and assembly. PT


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2 comments

  1. Sheikh Nimr is a Shia alim who speaks truth to power.

    That power is represented by the Wahabi Saudi state. If we want to understand what Wahabiism is then look at al-Nusra Front, Boko Hrama, al-Qaeeda and ISIS. The ideological fountain from which all of them drink is the teaching from Riyadh and Medinah universities. These are the same places to which we proudly send our sons and daughters. Al-Azhar is only mildly different.

    The Saudi government is there not by the will of Allah. They have been put in power by the British colonial administration. They and the ruling family in Jordan conspired with the colonial administration and return a desert dwelling tribe was made a ruling family with a king as its head. Sheikh Nimr comes from a tradition that has refused to bow to illegitimate power.

    In the days of Muharram and Karbala whilst those who will say radiyllahu anhu to Yazid we will remember Sheikh Nimr – whatever happens to him – as one who walks in the footsteps of Husayn in opposing illegitimate power.

    Until we liberate ourselves from the clutches of the Wahabi ideology from our brains and hearts there will always be a Sheikh Nimr in every place and time like there are Husayn and Yazid.

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