Saudi Arabia is planning the latest in a series of mass executions in the next few days, looking to behead 52 detainees who they have convicted of “terrorism” related charges. Rights groups are harshly critical of the planned executions, noting three of the detainees were children when they were captured.
Perhaps the riskiest beheading of the bunch, however, would be Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a top Shi’ite cleric who was detained after a Shi’ite protest against discrimination by the Saudi government. He was sentenced to death in October of 2014.
The Saudis have struggled with Shi’ite unrest for years, and this is particularly so with the government waging an openly sectarian war against the Shi’ite Houthis in neighboring Yemen. Though Shi’ites are a minority in the country, they live in some of the most oil-rich parts of the country.
If Nimr is executed, some Shi’ites are predicting another full-scale revolt, and while Nimr’s family is urging locals not to resort to violence, there appears to be little that can be done to prevent it.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- US Struggles With Fighting Between Turkey, Syrian Kurds, Two Key Allies - January 22nd, 2018
- Turkey Escalates Attack on Syrian Kurds - January 22nd, 2018
- Syrian Kurds May Send Reinforcements to Afrin to Fight Turkey - January 22nd, 2018
- Facebook Will Use Surveys to Decide What Is 'Trustworthy' News - January 22nd, 2018
- Pence Praises 'the Miracle of Israel,' Pledges Embassy Move in 2019 - January 22nd, 2018