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IRAN: Riyadh Should Wait for Dire Repercussions of Sheikh Nimr Execution


Chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi condemned Saudi Arabia for killing prominent Shiite cleric Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, and warned of its dire consequences for Riyadh.

“Undoubtedly, Sheikh Nimr’s execution is a crime whose extensive consequences will come after Saudi Arabia,” Boroujerdi told FNA on Saturday after the Saudi interior ministry announced that the country has executed 47 people, including the prominent Shiite cleric, today.

He said that execution of Sheikh Nimr showed that Saudi Arabia doesn’t respect the country’s clerics as well as the Muslim world’s public opinion because it was earlier warned by them against such a measure.

Boroujerdi also said that “Saudi Arabia’s unwise measure indicated the country’s passiveness and failure in different regional issues from Iraq and Syria to Yemen”.

He called on the UN and different countries, specially the Muslim states, to show the necessary reaction to Nimr’s execution.

In November, the Saudi people had staged a protest while covering their faces in Awamia village in Qatif region, Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, against the execution of Sheikh Nimr, and urged Riyadh to release the political prisoners.

Also in October, Iranian human rights activists and academics called on the OIC to pressure the Saudi regime to halt carrying out the death sentence against Sheikh Nimr.

The Iranian activists in a letter to OIC Secretary-General Iyad Madani voiced their regret over Riyadh’s decision to uphold Sheikh Nimr’s death penalty, and described the verdict as “brutal and unfair”.

“Executing people merely for exercising their right to free speech and taking part in peaceful demonstration is in contravention of natural human rights as well as the principles of the religion of Islam,” parts of the letter said.

The Iranian activists also called on the Muslim body to shoulder its responsibilities vis-à-vis the human rights issues and the rights of minorities in its member nations.

“Such a ruling also runs contrary to the terms of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, which should be respected by all OIC member states, including Saudi Arabia,” the letter added.

They also demanded that the OIC adopt all possible measures and pile pressure on Riyadh to overturn Sheikh Nimr’s death sentence, saying that the organization could also seek help, if necessary, from other international rights institutions to this end.

Nimr was attacked and arrested in the Qatif region of Eastern Province in July 2012, and had been charged with undermining the kingdom’s security, making anti-government speeches, and defending political prisoners. Nimr had denied the accusations.

In October 2014, a Saudi court sentenced Sheikh Nimr to death, provoking huge condemnations and criticism in the Middle East and the world.

On October 25, Nimr’s family confirmed that the Saudi Supreme Court and the Specialized Appeals Court had endorsed a death sentence issued last year against him for inciting sectarian strife and disobeying King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The cleric had denied the charges.

The Shiite cleric’s lawyer, Sadeq al-Jubran, has also said that Nimr could be executed as soon as the Saudi monarch approves his sentence.

Human rights organizations have condemned Saudi Arabia for failing to address the rights situation in the kingdom. They say Saudi Arabia has persistently implemented repressive policies that stifle freedom of expression, association and assembly.

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