SHAFAQNA – On Tuesday,(October 27th, 2015) Mohammad al-Nimr, brother Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shia cleric and well-known pro-democracy political activist was picked up by the Saudi authorities and imprisoned for crimes against the crown.
Saudi Arabia has a long record when it comes to cracking down on what its officials perceive as dissidence; allowing for its judges to hand out the harshest sentences: death penalty and/or corporal punishments, to punish those it decided infringed on the absolute authority of the monarch.
Saudi Arabia is an absolute theocracy, where the king has right of life or death on all its nationals.
Mohammad al-Nimr, who has been campaigning for both the release of his young son, Ali Mohammad and his brother, Sheikh al-Nimr has now been targeted by the regime in what several sources have already branded a political witch hunt.
Mohammad al-Nimr’s arrest this Wednesday came amid calls from politicians’ and rights organization to release Ali al-Nimr under human rights law.(Jeremy Corbyn and George Galloway for example) Ali al-Nimr was only 16, when he was arrested back in 2012 – afew days shy of his 17th birthday.
Sources close to the family now believe that Mohammad al-Nimr was arrested to silence his son’s campaign and prevent other under-age prisoners of conscience to come forward in their calls for justice: Abdullah Hasan al-Zaher and Dawood Hussein al-Marhoon.
Mohamed al-Nimr was released after a few hours on the same day.
He had told Tasnim on Sunday that the death sentence handed to his brother, Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, has been referred to King Salman’s office for a final decision.
Saudi criminal court had earlier referred Sheikh Nimr’s case to an appeals court, where the verdict was upheld in early March.
Sheikh Nimr was detained in July 2012 following demonstrations that erupted in Qatif region. He is accused of delivering anti-regime speeches and defending political prisoners.
His arrest has sparked widespread protests in the Arab country, leaving several people dead.
Last October, Sheikh Nimr’s family reported that a Saudi judge has found him guilty of “sedition” and sentenced him to death.