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Saudi upholds death sentence on Nimr Al-Nimr

A portrait of late prominent Shia Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr is seen hanging on an electricity pole in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on January 7, 2016 [JOSEPH EID/AFP via Getty Images]
A portrait of late prominent Shia Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr is seen hanging on an electricity pole in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on January 7, 2016 [JOSEPH EID/AFP via Getty Images]

A Saudi Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court have upheld the death sentence issued against Sheikh Nimr Baqir Al-Nimr for "igniting sectarian strife" and "disobeying the ruler", his lawyer revealed.

Mohammad, Al-Nimr's brother, tweeted: "Al-Nimr's death penalty has been upheld by both the Appeal and the Supreme Courts, and the instructions have been given to the Ministry of Interior to pass it on to the Saudi King for his approval."

Al-Nimr's lawyer Sadek Jabran confirmed Mohammed's statement, he wrote on Twitter: "Unfortunately, the specialised Criminal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence on Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr and the execution decision is now subject to the Saudi King's discretion."

There was no formal statement issued the courts regarding the matter.

On 15 October 2014, a Saudi court handed down a death sentence against Al-Nimr following his trial on charges of "igniting sectarian strife". During the case Al-Nimr was described as an evil that would not cease until killed.

Al-Nimr was convicted of encouraging sedition as well as charges including "disobeying the imam of the kingdom and the servant of the two holy cities in order to disperse the nation, spread chaos and overthrow the government."

Al-Nimr's trial began in March 2013.

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