Saudi Arabia supreme court upholds death sentence on Shia cleric


Saudi Arabia’s supreme court has rejected an appeal against the death sentence passed earlier this year on on the Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who had called for pro-democracy demonstrations and whose arrest in 2012 sparked protests in which three people died.

Nimr’s brother Mohammed said the sentence had been upheld after hearings that took place without his lawyers or family members being given prior notice. His fate now rests with King Salman, who is empowered to issue a pardon.

Nimr and six other Saudi Shias, including his nephew Ali, have been sentenced to death and then to have their bodies put on public display in the most severe penalty available to judges in the Sunni majority kingdom.

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