France urges Saudi Arabia to cancel execution of Sheikh Nimr’s nephew

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SHAFAQNA - France has expressed concern over the fate of a young Saudi man sentenced to death over his alleged role in anti-regime protests in the kingdom, urging Riyadh to cancel his execution. 

“France is concerned by the situation of Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, who was sentenced to death even though he was a minor at the time of the events,” French Foreign Ministry spokesman, Romain Nadal, said in a statement released on Wednesday, adding, “Opposed to the death penalty in all cases and circumstances, we call for the execution to be called off.” 

The youth is the nephew of prominent Saudi Shia cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, who has been sentenced to death on charges of disturbing state security, making anti-government speeches, and defending political prisoners. 

The statement came one day after a group of human rights experts affiliated with the United Nations called on the Al Saud regime to halt Nimr’s “imminent execution.” 

The rights experts argued that the Saudi teenager did not receive a “fair trial” while his lawyer did not have access to the case file. 

Nimr was arrested during an anti-government protest in the Qatif region, Eastern Province, back in 2012 when he was only 17 years old. He was later convicted of alleged criminal activities and handed down a death penalty by Saudi Arabia’s Specialized Criminal Court in May 2015.

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