Saudi Arabia executed Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr convicted terror offences

Saudi Arabia executed Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr convicted terror offences. Put to death after convicted of terrorism offences.

Saudi Arabia has executed the prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, the interior ministry said.

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He among 47 people put to death after being convicted of terrorism offences, it said in a statement.

Sheikh Nimr was a vocal supporter of the mass anti-government protests that erupted in Eastern Province in 2011.

Where a Shia majority have long complained of marginalisation.

Shia-lead Iran said Saudi Arabia would pay a “high price” for the execution.

A foreign ministry spokesman said Riyadh “supports terrorists… while executing and suppressing critics inside the country”.

Iran is the main regional rival of Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia.

The executions carried out simultaneously in 12 locations across Saudi Arabia.

Those also put to death include Sunnis convicted of involvement in al-Qaeda-linked terror attacks in 2003.

Of the 47 executed, one was a Chadian national while another was Egyptian. The rest are Saudis.

Ali al-Nimr, who was 17 when he arrested following the demonstrations and also faces execution, not listed as one of those killed.

In his 50s when he executed, he a persistent critic of Saudi Arabia’s Sunni royal family

Arrested several times over the past decade, alleging he beaten by Saudi secret police during one detention

Met US officials in 2008, Wikileaks revealed, seeking to distance himself from anti-American and pro-Iranian statements

Protests broke out in early 2011 in the oil-rich Eastern Province in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Sheikh Nimr’s arrest in the following year, during which he shot, triggered days of protests in which three people were killed.

Sheikh Nimr’s supporters say he advocated only peaceful demonstrations and eschewed all violent opposition to the government

His brother, Mohammed al-Nimr, said he hoped any reaction to the execution would be peaceful.

Police in Bahrain, which has seen tensions between the majority Shia population and its Sunni rulers, fired tear gas on protesters angry at the execution.

Saudi Arabia executed Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr convicted terror offences.

The authorities deny discriminating against Shia and blame Iran for stirring up discontent.

Saudi Arabia carried out more than 150 executions last year, the highest figure recorded by human rights groups for 20 years.

Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, seen here in an undated photograph, was a vocal critic of the Saudi authorities.