Announcement of death sentence for the prominent Shiite religious scholar Sheikh Nimr Baqer al-Nimr by the Saudi regime has sparked wrath across Islamic communities and human rights organs. After over two years of Sheikh Nimr’s detention, the Saudi judiciary sentenced him to death on charges of speaking against the regime in Riyadh. The Saudi prosecutor has also accused him of helping terrorists and provoking people against Ale Saud. The prominent Islamic scholars in Iran, Lebanon, Bahrain and Iraq showed reaction to Sheikh Nimr’s death sentence. Condemning the baseless verdict, they warned the Saudi officials and declared that Sheikh Nimr’s execution will have dire consequences for Saudi Arabia.
The revolutionary people of Bahrain by holding protests in various cities of the country warned Ale Saud about executing the death sentence. Demanding the release of Sheikh Nimr the protestors stressed that if the verdict is put into effect, the region will become ablaze and the Saudi regime will face with legal confrontation. The Bahraini demonstrators also stressed that if the verdict is implemented the blame will be put on the supporters and cohorts of the regime which help it conceal its wide violations of human rights and basic principles of democracy. Daily “Al-Akhbar” considered the consequences of the verdict to be unpredictable and wrote that the Saudi officials finally managed to disguise a political issue against a religious leader as religious issue. One of the critics to the hereditary, tribal and undemocratic Saudi regime, Fuad Ibrahim, said the verdict issued for Sheikh Nimr was political and not judicial. The verdict was not issued by judiciary but it was issued by the Saudi interior ministry. In an interview with Al-Mayadeen TV network, Fuad Ibrahim reiterated that the trial of Sheikh Nimr lacked transparency and was not held in public. He said that trial was by no means just since the prosecutor leveled charges against Sheikh Nimr and he summoned up the security forces who detained and shot at him to bear testimony. The critic of the Saudi regime said that none of the charges was true and reiterated that there is no judiciary in Saudi Arabia and the verdict was issued by security officials.
Issuance of death sentence for Sheikh Nimr was followed by reactions among international bodies. Amnesty International criticized the performance of the so-called criminal court of the Saudi regime, stressing that the verdict is shocking and should be rescinded. The issuance of death sentence for the outstanding religious scholar Sheikh Nimr provoked the reaction of the country’s people in the Shia-inhabited regions in Eastern Saudi Arabia. Al-Awamiya city turned into scene of widespread demonstrations by infuriated people who chanted slogans against the Saudi regime and described the death sentence revenge against the opponents of Ale Saud. The demonstrators called on the world people to stop the sham and ridiculous trials against the dissidents and called for release of Sheikh Nimr and all political prisoners in Saudi Arabia. The protests continued in the Shia-inhabited regions in eastern Saudi Arabia despite intensive security measures. Political activists in Qatif, east of Arabia, voiced their support for Sheikh Nimr and condemned the oppressive verdict, calling on the city’s people to take part in widespread demonstrations and condemn the oppressive verdict against Sheikh Nimr.
Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr was arrested in July 2012 in Al-Awamiya city. The Saudi police claims that he was carrying gun in his car and planned to escape. For this reason, the police fired at his car and injured him. But eye witnesses stressed that he had no gun when he was arrested. Sheikh Nimr is one of the prominent clerics of Saudi Arabia who in the few past years has always attempted to defend the trampled rights of the Shiite communities in Saudi Arabia. He criticized the egregious corruption and despotism of Ale Saud and invited people to endeavour for freedom and democracy. Promoting reforms and non-violent protest and campaign against discord between the Shiites and Sunnis were among the other measures of Sheikh Nimr.
Referring to the corruption of the rulers of the Persian Gulf littoral states, the prominent cleric called for campaign against corruption and oppression and questioned the inheritance of throne and kingdom among the rulers of Arab states including Saudi Arabia. Due to challenging and criticizing the Saudi ruling system and accusing Ale Saud of oppression, corruption and discrimination, Sheikh Nimr angered the Saudi regime. The Saudi officials, who are seeking to stifle the voice of justice-seeking and anti-oppression campaign in Saudi Arabia, have several times arrested and tortured Sheikh Nimr over the past years.
Ale Saud tries through arresting Sheikh Nimr and other freedom-seeking figures of Saudi Arabia to suffocate justice-seeking in this country. As the observers of Saudi issues have said the death sentence is a political verdict and if it is put into action the regime in Riyadh should wait for its dire consequences. The Middle East has been exposed to many crises and its security has been endangered with the increasing activities of Takfiri terrorist groups. Anybody with a shred of reasoning can understand that the main financier of these terrorists is the Wahhabi regime of Saudi Arabia. Through their all-out support for the Takfiri terrorists in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere, they try in line with the policies of the western governments led by the archenemy of Islam, the United States, to strengthen the position of hereditary and tribal regimes. But the aftermaths of this policy have now entrapped the Saudi regime as well as its regional and trans-regional partners in crime in a way that they have formed an international coalition to confront the ISIL. Saudi Arabia is now the source of spreading Takfiri terrorism in the region.
By destabilizing Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, the Saudi regime has exerted to strengthen its position and those of its allies namely the baby-killing regime of Israel. This policy has turned into a threat for Ale Saud itself. The issues of the Middle East are interconnected and any move affects the developments of the region. Issuance of death sentence for Sheikh Nimr is not exempted from this rule. The execution of the Shia leader can turn Saudi Arabia into the core of unpredictable events. The death sentence will stir up the protest and anger of over two million Saudi Shias who have been totally deprived of their initial citizenship rights. It remains to be seen if the Saudi rulers can prevent creating crisis in the country or submit to the fatwas issued by Wahhabi and Takfiri muftis.