Saudi Arabia: top Shia cleric among 47 executed

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By Euronews  with Reuters
Saudi Arabia: top Shia cleric among 47 executed
  • Biggest mass execution in Saudi Arabia since 1980
  • Anger spreads from Middle East to India
  • Cleric’s family call for peaceful protests

News of the execution of Sheik Nimr al-Nimr has triggered protests throughout the international Shia community.

The timing is very sensitive

Saudi Arabia

Security reinforcements were drafted in to the Shi neighbourhood of Qatif in Riyadh.


Police in Bahrain fired tear gas at dozens of protestors.

Demonstrators carried pictures of the leading cleric who was one of 47 executed by Riyadh as part of Saudi Arabia’s biggest mass execution since 1980.

There was a stand-off with security forces in the Shi’ite Muslim village of Abu-Saiba, west of the capital, Manama.

Iran tweets

Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has posted a tribute to al-Nimr on social media.

The English-language tweet carried the words “Awakening is not suppressible” alongside a picture of the 50-year-old.


Karim al-Nuri is a spokesperson for Iraqi militia group Hashad Shaabi.

“The timing is very sensitive. We had hoped to bring the region back from the brink of sectarian tension but the blood of the martyr Nimr al-Nimr, was a message to provoke Iran and Shi’ites in the Ihsaa, Qatif, Bahrain and the whole region.”

India and Pakistan

Hundreds of Shi’ite Muslims marched in protest through the streets of Srinagar in Indian-administered Kashmir.

There have also been protests in Karachi in Pakistan.