Protests Erupt Over Shia Cleric Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr’s Execution By Saudi Arabia

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7:00 pm 4 Jan, 2016

Protests have erupted in many parts of the world over the execution of influential Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi Arabia. The country also executed 47 prisoners for anti-government protests.

The country’s interior ministry said those executed had “stood fair trials with full respect to due process under the Islamic criminal law.”

Al-Nimr, who was in his 50s, had been a vocal critic of Bahrain’s monarchy, which forcibly suppressed protests in 2011 with the help of Saudi troops. He was popular among disgruntled youth in both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

He never denied the political charges against him, but maintained he never carried weapons or called for violence.


Women in Bahran carried pictures of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. nytimes

The hanging of Nimr has led animosity between the Saudi Arabia and Iran. Saudi Arabia said that it was severing diplomatic relations with Shiite powerhouse Iran and gave Iranian diplomats 48 hours to leave the kingdom.

Saudi foreign minister, Adel al- Jubeir announced this in a new conference after the harsh criticism by Iranian leaders against the execution and the storming of the Saudi Embassy in Tehran against this execution.

The mass execution of al-Nimr and 46 others – the largest carried out by Saudi Arabia in three and a half decades – laid bare the sectarian divisions gripping the region.

Earlier, protesters stormed in the Saudi embassy and set it on fire in Tehran.

Smoke rises as Iranian protesters set fire to the Saudi embassy in Tehran, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016. Protesters upset over the execution of a Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia set fires to the Saudi embassy in Tehran. (Mohammadreza Nadimi/ISNA via AP)

Smoke rises as Iranian protesters set fire to the Saudi embassy in Tehran. yahoo-


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani condemned Saudi Arabia’s execution of Al-Nimr, but also branded those who attacked the Saudi Embassy as “extremists.”

Forty people were arrested and investigators were pursuing other suspects.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tweeted:

Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard said Saudi Arabia’s “medieval act of savagery” would lead to the “downfall” of the country’s monarchy.

Meanwhile, al-Nimr’s family prepared for three days of mourning at a mosque in al-Awamiya in the kingdom’s al-Qatif region in predominantly Shiite eastern Saudi Arabia.

The sheikh’s brother, Mohammed al-Nimr, told The Associated Press that Saudi officials informed his family that the cleric had been buried in an undisclosed cemetery, a development that could lead to further protests.

In India, large groups of Shia protesters took to the streets in Srinagar and Lucknow against the execution of top Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia.


Protests in Srinagar. kashmirobserver

Following these protests by Shia community, authorities have imposed curfew like restrictions in parts of Srinagar today.

Police and paramilitary central reserve police force (CRPF) troops in full riot gear have been deployed in all law and order sensitive areas of Srinagar especially in the areas where Shia community live in large numbers.


Thousands of people protested in Kargil against the execution. kashmirobserver

Shia leader Aga Syed Hassan has appealed people to assemble at city centre Lal Chowk to protest the execution of the top Shia cleric.

Students of  Jawaharlal  Nehru University students also held protest  against this execution. They condemned this act and said the students of the university will continue to stand for the rights of oppressed people.

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Students of JNU protesting against this execution. facebook

Protests have also been reported in Bahrain, Pakistan and Lebanon .

In Bahrain, protesters turned violent and tear gas was used on those demonstrating people.

Other countries has also expressed their concern on the situation. A German foreign ministry official expressed concern Nimr’s execution and reaffirmed the country’s view that the death penalty is an inhumane form of punishment.


Shias protesting in Lucknow. facebook

But surprisingly the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, who as members of a Saudi-led coalition are battling Iran-backed Shiite rebels in Yemen, praised their ally.

Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE’s Foreign Minister, described the executions as a “clear message against terrorism and those who call for and incite sedition and unrest to tear apart the society’s unity and threaten social peace in the kingdom”.


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