TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An Iranian lawmaker rapped the international community’s silence over the death sentence handed to prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr by the Saudi regime, saying it indicates human rights bodies’ double-standard policies.
Abbas-Ali Mansouri Arani, a member of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told Tasnim on Monday that the international community and so-called human rights bodies should condemn the verdict and prevent a possible execution of the senior cleric.
“The silence of international bodies over the tragedies in Yemen as well as the death sentence issued for Sheikh Nimr would further undermine the position of such bodies in the world’s public opinion,” he noted.
He further referred to Riyadh’s move to uphold the death sentence as an indication of its utmost cruelty, saying that execution of Sheikh Nimr would have serious political and regional consequences for the Saudi regime.
It would definitely cause Saudi Arabia to plunge into a domestic and regional crisis whose repercussions would grip the country for a long time, Mansouri Arani added.
Mohamed al-Nimr, the cleric’s brother, told Tasnim on Sunday that the death sentence has been referred to King Salman’s office for a final decision.
Saudi Arabia’s criminal court had earlier referred Sheikh Nimr’s case to an appeals court, where the verdict was upheld in early March.
Sheikh Nimr was detained in July 2012 following demonstrations that erupted in Qatif region, Saudi Arabia. He is accused of delivering anti-regime speeches and defending political prisoners.
His arrest has sparked widespread protests in the Arab country, leaving several people dead.
Last October, Sheikh Nimr’s family reported that a Saudi judge has found him guilty of “sedition” and sentenced him to death.