JNN 11 Nov 2013 TEHRAN – The Saudi authorities are planning to execute prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in the coming days, a group calling itself the Al-Qatif News Network said on its Arabic webpage on Facebook.
“We have no further details on the issue,” said the group on its webpage.
Sheikh Nimr was attacked, injured and arrested by Saudi security forces en route to his house in the Qatif region of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province on July 8, 2012.
He was arrested over calls for the release of political prisoners
Tensions escalated in Qatif and Ihsaa following the arrest of Nimr. Thousands of people protested, calling for the overthrow of the regime and the release of the sheikh. Two people were killed and dozens were injured.
In late March 2013, an unnamed Saudi prosecutor reportedly demanded the death penalty for Nimr. The authority accused Nimr of ‘aiding terrorists’ and ‘instigating unrest,’ and called for the execution of the Shia cleric.
Since February 2011, demonstrators have held anti-regime protests on an almost regular basis in Saudi Arabia, mainly in Qatif and the town of Awamiyah in Eastern Province, primarily calling for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination.
Since November 2011, when Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in Eastern Province, the demonstrations have turned into protests against the Al Saud regime.
According to Human Rights Watch, the Riyadh regime “routinely represses expression critical of the government.”