SHAFAQNA – British Prime Minister David Cameron urged its ally Saudi Arabia on Sunday not to go ahead with the execution of a Shi’ite Muslim sentenced to death over his participation in a peaceful anti-government protests.
“Don’t do it,” Cameron said when asked about the case of Ali al-Nimr, who was handed the death penalty after taking part in demonstrations in Saudi Arabia’s oil-producing Eastern Province.
Cameron said that although Britain and Saudi Arabia worked closely on issues such as national security, the British government had raised its concerns about Nimr’s case and general human rights in the country.
“We never stint in telling them that we don’t agree with them on this human rights issue,” he told the BBC on the first day of his Conservative Party’s annual conference in the northern city of Manchester.
Nimr was convicted of some alleged anti-govt. acts such as sedition, rioting and protesting in the Eastern Province district of Qatif, home to many majority Shi’ites, who face entrenched discrimination.
Al-Nimr, who was 17 when he was illegally arrested in 2012, has been sentenced to die by beheading and crucifixion, NGOs claimed earlier in September, after a closed trial on charges ranging from possession of firearms to encouraging pro-democracy protests using his BlackBerry in Saudi Arabia’s restive Eastern Province, which his home to many of the country’s 2.7 million strong Shia minority.