Leader Condemns Sheikh Nimr’s Execution

Leader Condemns  Sheikh Nimr’s ExecutionLeader Condemns  Sheikh Nimr’s Execution

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei strongly condemned Saudi Arabia's execution of prominent Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, saying divine retribution awaits Saudi officials.

Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks at the start of his course for clerics at the post-jurisprudence level in Tehran on Sunday, stressing the need for the entire world to act responsibly in the face of this and other crimes committed by the Saudi regime in Yemen and Bahrain.

"Without a doubt, the unlawfully shed blood of this innocent martyr will have a rapid effect and the divine vengeance will befall Saudi politicians," the Leader's official website quoted him as saying.

Describing the execution of Sheikh Nimr as a "political mistake" made by the Saudi government, Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized that "the Almighty God will not remain indifferent to innocent blood and this unrightfully shed blood will soon afflict the politicians and executives of the regime."

He also slammed the silence of those who pose as advocates of freedom, democracy and human rights, and their support for the Saudi regime, which is killing innocent people just for criticizing it.

"The Muslim world and the whole world must feel responsibility toward this issue," he said.

The Leader noted that the top Shia cleric neither invited people to take up arms, nor hatched covert plots, but "the only thing that he did was voicing public criticism, as well as ordering good and prohibiting vice, which stemmed from his religious zest and fervor."

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Leader noted that torturing the Bahraini people and destruction of their mosques and homes in addition to the bombardment of the Yemeni people for over 10 months were other instances of crimes committed by the Saudis.

Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized that "those who are honestly interested in the fate of humanity, [and] the fate of human rights and justice, must follow up on such issues and should not remain indifferent to this situation."

Sheikh Nimr and three other Shias were executed alongside 43 Al-Qaeda-linked convicts on Saturday in 12 cities across the Arab country.

They were found guilty by the Saudi judiciary of charges of involvement in violent activities against the kingdom, according to the Saudi Interior Ministry. 

All on the list of those killed are Saudi nationals, except an Egyptian and a Chadian.

The prominent Saudi cleric, a critic of the Riyadh government, was shot by Saudi police and arrested in 2012 in the Qatif region of Shia-dominated Eastern Province, which was the scene of peaceful anti-regime demonstrations at the time.

Sheikh Nimr was charged with inciting unrest to undermine the kingdom's security, making anti-government speeches and defending political prisoners. He had rejected all the charges as baseless.