Socialist Worker

Executions in Saudi Arabia spark protests across the region

by Judith Orr
Issue No. 2485

Protests erupted in Saudi Arabia and across the region after the Saudi regime executed Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr last Saturday.

The prominent opposition leader and Shia cleric was one of 47 people executed who were accused of “terrorism”.

Al-Nimr was an outspoken supporter of protests in 2011 against the regime in the majority Sunni country.

Protests broke out when he was arrested in 2012.

After his death al-Nimr’s family issued a statement. “He demanded legitimate rights bravely,” it said. “He rejected sectarianism for more than four decades.”

Protests against the executions took place in the mainly Shia Eastern Province.

As Socialist Worker went to press one person had been killed and a child shot and injured.

Protesters defied a ban on public demonstrations.

They chanted the slogans of 2011, “The people want the fall of the regime”, and “Down with the al Saud family”.

Outrage among protesters grew when the regime announced it had buried those executed in an unknown burial ground. It refused requests from the families for the bodies to be returned for family burials.

The executions sparked demonstrations across the region.

Protesters attacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran, the capital of Iran, a mainly Shia country.

The Saudi regime is a close ally of Britain. It wants to portray the protests as an extension of an ongoing conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and Shia and Sunni Muslims.

It hopes to disguise the fact that the courageous demonstrations could develop into a wider revolt against the tyranny of the Saudi monarchy.


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Article information

International
Tue 5 Jan 2016, 16:54 GMT
Issue No. 2485
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