Saudi Arabia says 47 executed on terror charges, including top Shia cleric

Published: January 2, 2016


RIYADH: Saudi Arabia executed 47 people on Saturday for terrorism, mostly suspected al Qaeda members but also a prominent Shia cleric, Nimr al-Nimr, Interior Ministry said in a statement broadcast on state television.

The conservative Islamic kingdom, which usually executes people by public beheading, detained thousands of militants after a series of al Qaeda attacks from 2003-06 that killed hundreds, and has convicted hundreds of them.

Hundreds rally in Saudi for death row Shias: witness

However, it also detained hundreds of members of its Shia minority after protests from 2011-13, during which several policemen were killed in shooting and petrol bomb attacks.

Several of he Shias have been sentenced to death.

Iran summons Saudi diplomat

Iran summoned Saudi Arabia’s charge d’affaires in Tehran on Saturday to protest the execution of Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shia cleric in the kingdom, Iranian state television said.

Nimr was executed alongside three other Shias and dozens of alleged al Qaeda members, sparking anger among Saudi Arabia’s minority Shias.

Iranian cleric predicts fall of Saudi government over Nimr execution

Saudi Arabia’s main regional rival, Shia Iran, has warned that executing Nimr “would cost Saudi Arabia dearly”.

“I have no doubt that this pure blood will stain the collar of the House of Saud and wipe them from the pages of history,” Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, a member of the Assembly of Experts and a Friday prayer leader, was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.

“The crime of executing Sheikh Nimr is part of a criminal pattern by this treacherous family … the Islamic world is expected to cry out and denounce this infamous regime as much as it can,” he added.

Saudi Arabia preparing to behead and crucify 21-year-old Shia activist

Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh appeared on television soon after to describe the executions as just. The executions are Saudi Arabia’s first in 2016. At least 157 people were put to death last year, a big increase from the 90 people killed in 2014.

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Reader Comments (28)

  • Farru
    Jan 2, 2016 - 12:52PM

    Barbarism is leading to barbarism (ISIS emergence). With brutal force you can’t win hearts.Recommend

  • Jan 2, 2016 - 1:30PM

    Terrorists have no faith or sect. Please note it down. Thanks!Recommend

  • ajeet
    Jan 2, 2016 - 2:15PM

    Halal population control offered by the Saudis to Muslim nations like Pakistan?Recommend

  • Ali S
    Jan 2, 2016 - 3:23PM

    Celebrating New Year with 47 executions, Saudi style. It’s like they’re competing for a race to the bottom – who can be the worst human rights violator.Recommend

  • Iran Alert
    Jan 2, 2016 - 8:22PM

    Lesson for Iran not to send more people to infiltrate KSA for an uprising.Recommend

  • Muhammad Ali
    Jan 2, 2016 - 8:36PM

    Similar style execution was witnessed in Iraq, when Saddam Hussein executed top shia cleric Baqir Al Sadr. But never forget how saddam was executed in the case of Al Sadr’s execution…I think Salman Al-Saud forgot….Recommend

  • Sonya
    Jan 2, 2016 - 9:44PM

    @Iran Alert: Nimr was a son of a soil of Hijaz not an Iranian citizen – get your info right before spitting your prejudice.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jan 2, 2016 - 10:01PM

    There is no difference between killers and killed. People of this region are blood thirsty monsters. Recommend

  • Tipu
    Jan 2, 2016 - 11:00PM

    Executed for mere political protest? Recommend

  • Imran
    Jan 2, 2016 - 11:01PM

    There is no difference between ISIS and Saudi Arabia.Recommend

  • Skywalker
    Jan 2, 2016 - 11:01PM

    Sorry state of affairs in KSA. This will come to bite later.Recommend

  • Tipu
    Jan 2, 2016 - 11:02PM

    What a shame that the entire nation is hostage to a family, the only country in the world which is named after a family, which treats the country as personal fiefdom.Recommend

  • Presently
    Jan 2, 2016 - 11:12PM

    @Ali S:
    “…who can be the worst human rights violator.” Presently, it is Assad who has killed over one hundred thousand people, according to the UN.
    Anyway, capital punishment by the Saudis is condemnable and if Nimr was not involved in terrorism, his punishments is not at all justified, even his incarceration or any other punishment, whatsoever, is not justified only if he is accused of inciting for violence.Recommend

  • Kamil
    Jan 2, 2016 - 11:17PM

    Saudi Arabia is the biggest supporter, exporter, and sponsor of terrorism.Recommend

  • mazhar
    Jan 3, 2016 - 12:27AM

    it will cost house of saud.dearly…. ksa already on brink…. brutal ruleRecommend

  • Sarwar
    Jan 3, 2016 - 1:05AM

    Denounce terror. Denounce violence. Denounce torture. Denounce capital punishment, especially under summary justice systems. Denounce hegemons, including regional ones, who try to practice hegemony beyond their borders. Then, renounce all these.Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Jan 3, 2016 - 1:49AM

    @Kamran Ahmad Kami:Saudi Arabia ruling junta is worst terrorist, creating Daish, ISIS, bombarding Yemen for the last 10 months. Where ever is terrorist Saudi hand can be seenRecommend

  • syed & syed
    Jan 3, 2016 - 1:56AM

    Saudi rulers must remember fate of Sadam, Qazffi and Reza Shah. Their dooms day is fast approaching. They will not find any place to hide like Reza Shah of Iran.Recommend

  • Hameed
    Jan 3, 2016 - 2:54AM

    @Ali S:

    Celebrating New Year with 47 executions, Saudi style. It’s like they’re competing for a race to the bottom – who can be the worst human rights violator.

    Iran executes and imprisons a lot of people too. Mullahs are bad everywhere.Recommend

  • Paa Ji
    Jan 3, 2016 - 3:45AM

    Is there any end to Saudi’s thirst for blood? How many heads do they need to quench it?Recommend

  • ShamelessPakistanis
    Jan 3, 2016 - 5:19AM

    What a CIA mouth piece. Its not 100,000 its 250,000 and I am sorry to say this but Bashar is equally responsible as CIA in creating Daesh. The only difference is he is defending his country and CIA as always trying to topple a government. Recommend

  • But
    Jan 3, 2016 - 5:59AM

    But so is Iran.Recommend

  • But
    Jan 3, 2016 - 7:14AM

    But that does not justify killing on such a large scale. period. And, Assad is the main culprit as he clings to power shamelessly.Recommend

  • Get clean
    Jan 3, 2016 - 7:22AM

    You have one-sided views as you ignore Iranian attempts at inciting rebellion in Saudi Arabia, no matter with indigenous people.Recommend

  • Dallas Ali
    Jan 3, 2016 - 7:57AM

    This barbaric act on New Year holidays was done intentionally as their Masters i.e. Western Govt are off for long weekend expecting these atrocities committed will be forgotten. I don’t think so I will be writing to White House and my Senators as well as my Congressman. I will be asking for Arms embargo and downgrading of contacts with this dispectible government.
    The draconian law administered under Kangroo Courts by a misfit government where even peaceful protest is rewarded with Cruel and unusual punishment.
    Having said that I must add that there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is a recent report by no less IMF that states that at the current rate of expenditure and dwindling oil prices the Saudi government will run out of their foreign exchange reserves. That will be a wake up call to their citizens when their benefits will cease and they will rebel against their despotic and corrup rulers. I hope to God that I want to see the end of this tyrannical regime before I die.Recommend

  • faisal
    Jan 3, 2016 - 8:33AM

    Saudi Arabia and Iran are both repressive regimes who export their version of islam and are happy to support militancy abroad. The people hanged in Saudia were basically Iranian agents. We, Pakistanis, must not subscribe to the extreme versions of islam which Saudia and Iran peddle. If we succumb to them we will end up in a civil war. Also, please remember, our loyalty should first be to our homeland and later to another country.Recommend

  • Saudi Alert
    Jan 3, 2016 - 2:28PM

    @Iran Alert – First Saudis should take a lesson to not send its toxic ideology outside.Recommend

  • Jan 3, 2016 - 4:16PM

    Pure blood? Yui can very well imagine the mentality of iran from this statementRecommend

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