Iraqis, Greeks stage protests against Saudi execution of Nimr
People have taken to the streets of the capitals of Iraq and Greece against Saudi Arabia’s recent execution of a prominent Shia clergyman.
Two thousand protesters gathered at Baghdad’s Tahrir Square on Wednesday to express their anger at the Al Saud regime’s killing of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.
The demonstrators were holding flags and banners bearing the portrait of the executed Shia cleric.
Members of Iraqi popular defense groups including Kata’ib Hezbollah, the Badr Movement and Asaib Ahl al-Haq, were present at Wednesday’s event.
“Our demands to the Iraqi government are clear,” said Maytham al-Allaq, a leader of the Waad Allah (Promise of God) popular forces, adding, “They include the expulsion of the Saudi ambassador from Iraq and return of the Iraqi ambassador from Riyadh.”
The Saudi embassy in Iraq was reopened on January 1 after being closed since 1990, when former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, prompting Riyadh to cut ties with Baghdad.
On January 2, the Saudi Interior Ministry announced that the cleric along with 46 others, who were convicted of being involved in “terrorism” and adopting a “Takfiri” ideology, had been put to death. The Saudi execution has come under widespread criticism – though mildly – from the UN, the EU and the US as well as some of the kingdom’s own allies.
Elsewhere in the Greek capital city of Athens, people marched towards the Saudi embassy on Wednesday while riot police formed a wall outside the diplomatic mission.