A senior Iranian cleric has condemned a Saudi Arabian prosecutor’s demand of the death penalty for prominent Shia cleric Nimr al - Nimr, jailed over his support for political prisoners in the kingdom.
“They(Saudi authorities) have arrested a number of senior Shia[figures] and even a prosecutor has demanded execution for one of them who is a renowned scholar called Sheikh al - Nimr, ” Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi said on Wednesday. “Muslims will not keep silent on the demand for the execution of Sheikh Nimr, ” Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi added, highlighting the support of Saudi Shia clergy for the people’s battle against widespread oppression and discrimination in the kingdom. The Saudi cleric was attacked, injured and arrested by Saudi security forces en route to his house in the Qatif region of Eastern province on July 8,2012, after he had called for the release of jailed protesters and all the prisoners of conscience. Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi censured Riyadh’s recent move to detain a number of people on charges of links to Iran, describing it as a ploy to ease the mounting pressure on the despotic rule of Al Saud regime and to stop the sweeping wave of Islamic awakening in the region.
“The Saudi regime…has started such a show and said it has found a new spy cell to divert the public opinion and blame all problems on Shias and trigger a communal conflict, ” he stated.
The senior Shia cleric also denounced the Saudi authorities’ misbehavior toward Iranian pilgrims, saying the holy sites in the Arab country belong to all Muslims, and are not "private property" in possession of the ruling Al Saud family. He proposed that the affairs of the holiest Muslim sites in Saudi Arabia should be monitored by a committee mandated by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.