Iranians protest Saudi execution of Sheikh Nimr
Hundreds of people have poured onto the streets of the Iranian capital, Tehran, voicing their rage at Saudi Arabia for the execution of Top Cleric, who was critical of Riyadh’s policies.
The Sunday demonstration, which was joined by a number of political groups, came a day after the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr alongside 46 other people, whom the kingdom’s Interior Ministry said had been found guilty of involvement in “terrorism.”
Sheikh Nimr, an outspoken critic, had been arrested in 2012 in the Qatif region of Saudi Arabia’s Shia-majority Eastern Province, which was the scene of peaceful anti-regime demonstrations at the time.
He had been charged with instigating unrest and undermining the kingdom’s security. He had rejected the charges as baseless.
In 2014, a Saudi court sentenced the clergyman to death, provoking widespread global condemnations. Back then, the UK-based rights body Amnesty International called the sentence “appalling,” saying the verdict should be quashed since it was politically motivated.
A group of Iranian clerics and seminary students have also held demonstrations in the holy cities of Qom and Mashhad in condemnation of the execution.
Iraqi, Bahraini, and Kashmiri capitals as well as many other parts of the world have witnessed similar mass protests at the execution.
Earlier on Sunday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei condemned the killing and stressed the need for the entire world to act responsibly in the face of this and other crimes committed by the Saudi regime in Yemen and Bahrain.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has also said Saudi Arabia’s execution of the prominent clergyman was in line with Riyadh’s sectarian policies, which aim to spread terrorism and extremism.
Leading Iraqi Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has also said in a statement that the execution was an “aggression.”