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    » 01/02/2016, 00.00


    Riyadh executes 47 "terrorists", including Shia leader Nimr al-Nimr

    These are the first executions of the new year. Last year more than 150 people were executed. Sheikh al-Nimr had criticised the marginalisation of the Shia community in the predominantly Sunni Saudi Arabia. Iran has responded with threats.

    Riyadh (AsiaNews) – Saudi Arabia began the New Year by executing on Saturday 47 people convicted on terrorism charges, including prominent anti-Saudi regime Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, the Interior Ministry said in a statement broadcast on state television.

    Right after the executions, Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Al-Sheikh appeared on television to describe them as just.

    Those executed include 45 Saudis, plus a Chadian and an Egyptian. The most prominent among them was Nimr al-Nimr, an early supporter of the short-lived and violently suppressed Arab Spring that erupted in Saudi Arabia’s eastern region.

    The region is predominantly Shia, and Shias have always complained of political and economic marginalisation.

    Al-Nimr was arrested two years ago, and sentenced to death last October charged with seeking "foreign meddling" in the kingdom, "disobeying" its rulers and taking up arms against the security forces.

    His supporters argue that he had always advocated only peaceful demonstrations.

    Shia-led Iran – the main regional rival of Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia – previously warned that executing Sheikh al-Nimr would "cost Saudi Arabia dearly".

    The executions announced today are the first of the year. Saudi Arabia carried out more than 150 executions last year.

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    See also

    31/01/2006 Saudi Arabia - Iran
    UN to Saudi Arabia: An end to the execution of minors

    At least 126 people on death row for crimes committed while still minors.  Concern also for the execution of minors in Iran.

    20/07/2016 15:25:00 SAUDI ARABIA
    With Ramadan over, Saudi executions pick up; so far almost 100 carried out this year

    Two people, a Saudi convicted of murder and a Pakistani sentenced for drug trafficking, are executed, bringing to 98 the number of executions in 2016. Rights groups note that this year’s rate of executions is higher than last year’s at this point in time.

    04/01/2016 SAUDI ARABIA - IRAN
    Riyadh breaks off diplomatic relations with Tehran
    The announcement was made last night, after Iranian protesters stormed Riyadh’s Tehran embassy and consulate in Mashad. Khamenei calls it "divine vengeance"; Rouhani condemned the assault on the Saudi embassy as "illegal" and "unjustified". Anti-Saudi demonstrations in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Indian Kashmir. Saudi Arabia’s hardening political positions.

    10/05/2010 IRAN
    Day of mourning in Iranian Kurdistan for the execution of five political prisoners
    Protests in several cities in the region, despite the massive police presence. The most prominent of those killed was a 34 year old teacher, convicted of "taking up arms against God" after a seven minute trial.

    24/03/2009 CHINA
    Death Penalty: China first place in 2008, 1718 people killed
    Worldwide 2390 were executed. In the sad list dedicated to capital punishment China gets first place, Asia first among the continents. 93% of the death sentences carried out by five states. Along with China are Iran (346), Saudi Arabia (102), USA (37) and Pakistan (36).

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