Germany protesters condemn Saudi Arabia for executing Sheikh Nimr

Hundreds of people have staged a protest rally outside the Saudi consulate in the German city of Frankfurt to voice their outrage over the execution of top Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

Holding banners decrying the execution, the demonstrators chanted anti-Saudi slogans on Friday.

The Saudi regime said on January 2 that it had executed Sheikh Nimr along with 46 others, causing international outrage and a serious escalation of tensions in the region. Many countries, including Iran, Pakistan, and India, have witnessed large anti-Saudi demonstrations over the past days.

Sheikh Nimr, a critic of the Riyadh regime, was arrested in 2012 and charged with instigating unrest and undermining the kingdom’s security. A Saudi court sentenced the religious figure to death in 2014. He had rejected all the charges as baseless.

Berlin protest

Also on Friday, a number of activists with human rights organization Amnesty International gathered outside the Saudi embassy in the German capital Berlin, calling on the kingdom to release jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi and Saudi rights activist and lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair.

Badawi, in jail since 2012, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for criticizing the Wahhabi ideology in his country. The 31-year-old blogger’s flogging is to be carried out in 20 sessions. He received his first 50 lashes in January 2015.

Badawi has also been sentenced to pay a fine of $266,000 and is banned from traveling overseas for 10 years after his release from prison.

On December 16, Ensaf Haidar, Badawi’s wife, received the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought on her husband’s behalf from the European Parliament.

According to Haidar, her husband began a hunger strike in early December when he was moved to a different prison in an unanticipated move.

Abu al-Khair is sentenced to 15 years in prison over attempts to launch a website for monitoring human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia.

International human rights organizations have lashed out at Saudi Arabia for failing to address the rights situation in the country. They say the Saudi rulers have persistently implemented repressive policies that stifle freedom of expression, association and assembly.


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