We the people of the free democratic world categorically oppose the recent death sentence imposed on Sheikh Nimr by the Saudi Arabian monarchy. Sheikh Nimr was detained in July 2012 after backing mass pro-democracy protests that erupted in February 2011 in the Qatif district of eastern Saudi Arabia which is home to many of the country’s marginalized Shia minority. His capture, during which he was wounded by police fire, prompted several days of protests in which three unarmed protesters were killed by Saudi forces. The Saudi regime responded to the peaceful protests by terrorizing the people of Qatif and Awamiyah, killing more than 20 people and wounding at least 58 others between 2011 and August 2012. The number of people detained in Saudi prisons exceeded 1042, of whom 280 remain in prison, including24 children and 5 who were sentenced to death for “using violence against the police.”
Last year a prosecutor said he was seeking to convict Sheikh Nimr for “aiding terrorists” and “waging war on God,” which carry the death penalty.
A Saudi judge on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 sentenced to death the Shia cleric who has called for greater rights for Saudi minorities. Sheikh Nimr’s only intention was to seek the freedom of the Shia community and for them to be treated as equal citizens of Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi government denies charges of discrimination against the Shia community of Saudi Arabia but according to a 2009 Human Rights Watch report, Shia citizens in Saudi Arabia “face systematic discrimination in religion, education, justice, and employment.”
We seek the UN to respond to this violation of human rights on the Shia Minority in Saudi Arabia. We seek the UN to demand the Saudi Monarchy release Sheikh Nimr and respect his freedom of speech and religion. We seek that if Saudi Arabia does not release Sheikh Nimr the UN immediately imposes sanctions upon the oppressive nation of Saudi Arabia.
Time is short. Sheikh Nimr will be executed unjustly. The world must act now!