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Bahrainis protest Saudi death sentence against Nimr

Demonstrators in Bahrain have taken to the streets in support of prominent Saudi Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, who has been sentenced to death by Riyadh.

On Friday, protesters in the coastal village of Malikiyah and on the island of Sitra condemned Saudi Arabia for sentencing the dissident cleric to death and demanded his release.

On October 15, a Saudi court handed down the death penalty to Sheikh Nimr after convicting him of sedition.

The cleric was attacked and arrested in July 2012, accused of delivering anti-regime speeches and defending political prisoners.

In reaction to the sentence, people took to streets in the Saudi city of Qatif to condemn the move. There have also been demonstrations in other countries.

On Friday, a senior Iranian cleric warned Saudi Arabia against executing the death sentence.

“We warn Saudi Arabia… that this government will pay a heavy price for a [possible] execution of a Shia cleric,” Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahhedi Kermani told worshippers at the weekly Friday prayers in Tehran.

Human rights activists say the sentence issued for Sheikh Nimr was politically motivated.

Amnesty International has denounced the verdict, calling it “appalling”.

Rights groups say Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are committing systematic human rights abuses.

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