Iran's Judiciary Official: Death Penalty for Sheikh Nimr “Unjustifiable”
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – There is no justification for Saudi Arabia’s decision to impose death sentence against Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, Chief of the Iranian Judiciary’s Human Rights council Mohammad Javad Larijani said.
Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency on Sunday, the senior official said in addition to lack of religious laws for executing Sheikh Nimr, the death penalty is “unacceptable in term of the international and human rights standards.”
Larijani also warned that the death penalty for Nimr will not be either in the interests of Saudi Arabia “politically”.
“Naturally, it is not justifiable at all that a country that claims to have adopted its juridical laws on the basis of the Islamic sharia would sentence an educated cleric to death for his activities to revive the religion,” the Iranian official noted.
Denouncing the death sentence as an “improper move” that is the result of “satanic” policies formulated by the arrogant powers, Larijani emphasized that it would by no means help unite the Muslims.
He further expressed the hope that the Saudi officials would foil that anti-Islam plot.
Sheikh Nimr was detained in July 2012 following demonstrations that erupted in February 2011 in Qatif region. He is accused of delivering anti-regime speeches and defending political prisoners.
His arrest has sparked widespread protests in Saudi Arabia, leaving several people dead.
Sheikh Nimr’s family reported on Wednesday that a Saudi judge has found him guilty of “sedition” and sentenced him to death.
Activists say there are over 30,000 political prisoners in Saudi Arabia.
International human rights organizations have criticized Saudi Arabia for failing to address the rights situation in the kingdom. They say Saudi Arabia has persistently implemented repressive policies that stifle freedom of expression, association and assembly.