Ayatollah Rafsanjani:

Death Sentence of Ayatollah Nimr, Historic Mistake by Saudis

Death Sentence of Ayatollah Nimr, Historic Mistake by Saudis

Chairman of Iran's Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said that Saudi rulers have made a “historic” mistake by upholding the death sentence of prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr.

Chairman of Iran's Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said that Saudi rulers have made a “historic” mistake by upholding the death sentence of prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr.

“Saudi Arabia’s rulers, besides their mistake in invading Yemen, have recently made another historic mistake by upholding the execution sentence of Ayatollah Nimr,” Ayatollah Rafsanjani said on Wednesday.

This would have serious consequences for the Saudi regime, he added, urging Saudi rulers not to carry out the verdict.

“If Saudi Arabia’s rulers stop hasty and vindictive behaviors and act wisely, Iran is ready to cooperate (with Riyadh) in helping reinforce regional security and restore political and security stability to the Muslim world,” Ayatollah Rafsanjani added.

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 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.

A couple of days ago, a Saudi appeals court upheld the death sentence, referring his case to King Salman’s office.

Activists say there are over 30,000 political prisoners in Saudi Arabia.

International human rights organizations have criticized Saudi Arabia for failing to address the rights situation in the kingdom. They say Saudi Arabia has persistently implemented repressive policies that stifle freedom of expression, association and assembly.


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