SHAFAQNA – Al-Khoei Foundation deplores the execution of prominent Shia Muslim scholar, Sheikh Nimr Baqir Al-Nimr, in Saudi Arabia. Sheikh Al-Nimr was arrested in July 2012, following his demand for political reform and support for protests in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. He was imprisoned for over three years and executed today 2 January 2016, despite calls for his release from the international community and human rights groups.
Among the names of the executed announced by the Interior Ministry, are also three other Shia activists, two of whom were teenagers at the time of their arrest.
We are stunned and appalled by the execution of the young activists and Sheikh Al-Nimr. At a time when sectarian tensions are increasing throughout the Middle East and spreading across the world, executions should not be the solution to protests and calls for political reform from minorities. Such decisions will only increase tensions, fuel sectarian conflicts and further encourage terrorist groups such as Daesh. This is also counterproductive to the efforts of organisations and scholars that continue to engage in dialogue to defuse sectarian tensions and achieve peace.
Al-Khoei Foundation calls for respect of human rights and the sanctity of human life. The protection of both ethnic and religious groups should be commonplace in any society. Our thoughts and prayers are with family and friends of Sheikh Nimr Baqir Al-Nimr and the other three executed activists.”