Senior Iranian Sunni Clerics Urge UN’s Efforts to Free Sheikh Nimr

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SHAFAQNA-Iranian Sunni clerics in a letter to the UN and other international organizations called for heightened efforts to free prominent Shiite cleric Nimr Baqr al-Nimr who has received a death sentence from a Saudi court.

“We, a group of Sunni clerics in Iran, on behalf of the Clergymen and the Sunni community in Iran, condemn this inhumane verdict which is issued in contrary to international and judicial practices and demand its immediate abolition and the unconditional release of this religious cleric,” the letter said on Thursday.

In addition to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, copies of the letter have been sent to UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, President of the Human Rights Council Joachim Rücker, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Iyad Ameen Madani.

The Sunni clerics also asked the Iranian foreign ministry to make every diplomatic effort to ensure Sheikh Nimr’s freedom.

The full text of the letter is as follows:

“In the name of God the Compassionate the Merciful

To: Ban Ki-moon

The Honorable Secretary General of the United Nations
With Regards,

As your highness is aware, it has been more than three years since the unjustified arrest of the leading Saudi religious cleric, Nimr Bakir al-Nimr, and this injustice has reached its peak after issuing and confirming his death sentence by the Saudi Interior Ministry.

This unjustified verdict has been issued in Saudi intelligence chambers but not in courts and judiciary systems and seeks to put an end to objections and demands of the people regarding the minorities and women’s rights. Continuing these practices and execution of this cruel verdict will further inflame protests against the Saudi regime and will offend over a billion and a half Muslims.

We, a group of Sunni clerics in Iran, on behalf of the Clergymen and the Sunni community in Iran, condemn this inhumane verdict which is issued in contrary to international and judicial practices and demand its immediate abolition and the unconditional release of this religious cleric.

It is expected that your highness and the organization under your management take necessary steps by opposition and condemnation of this verdict to release this leading religious cleric.

Yours sincerely,

Mawlavi Nazir Ahmad Salami, the representative of Sistan and Baluchestan Sunni community in the clerical assembly of supreme leader (Experts Assembly)

Mamosta Abdorahman Khodayi, the representative of Kurdistan people in the clerical assembly of supreme leader (Experts Assembly) and the Friday Prayers Imam of Sanandaj Sunni community

Mullah Ghorban Mohammad Onagh, member of planning council for Iranian Sunni seminaries and senior member of Sunni jurisprudential circle in northern Iran

Mawlawi Ishaq Madani, the former presidential advisor for Sunni affairs

Mamosta Mola Ghader Ghaderi, member of planning council for Iranian Sunni seminaries and the Friday Prayers Imam of Paveh Sunni community

Mawlawi Abdorahman Sarbazi, member of planning council for Iranian Sunni seminaries and the Friday Prayers Imam of Chabahar Sunni community

Sheikh Abdolbaes Ghatali, the Friday Prayers Imam of Bandar Abbas Sunni community

Sheikh Abdolaziz Ghazizadeh, the Friday Prayers Imam of owz Sunni community

Mullah Haji Mohammad Abedi Kor, the Friday Prayers Imam of Bandar Torkman Sunni community

Sheikh Khalil Afra, member of planning council for Iranian Sunni seminaries and the chairman of clergy and Fatwa council of Bushehr Sunni community

Mawlawi Sharafoddin Jami Alahmadi, member of planning council for Iranian Sunni seminaries and the Friday Prayers Imam of Torbat Jam Sunni community and the headmaster of Ahmadieh Religious School

Sheikh Mohammad aziz Hanifi, member of planning council for Iranian Sunni seminaries and the Friday Prayers Imam of Fishur Sunni community

Sheikh Abdorahim Khatibi, member of planning council for Iranian Sunni seminaries and the Friday Prayers Imam of Gheshm Sunni community

Mullah Galdi Kamali, the headmaster of Khademieh Sunni Religious School in Khorasan Shomali

Mawlawi abdosamad Sadati, the headmaster of Sunni Religious School and the Friday Prayers Imam of Saravan Sunni community

Mamosta Dr Mullah Mostafa Mahmmodi, member of planning council for Iranian Sunni seminaries and the Friday Prayers Imam of Piranshahr Sunni community

Mamosta Mohammad Amin Rasti, member of planning council for Iranian Sunni seminaries and instructor and the interim Friday Prayers Imam of Sanandaj Sunni community

Sheikh Abdolkarim Mohammadi, Leading instructor in Sunni religious schools in southern Iran

Mamosta Dr. Abed Naghibi, Jurist and a member of the World Assembly of Muslim clerics.”

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