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Back Activities Alerts Action Alert: Saudi Arabia – Oppose death sentence against Sheikh Nimr

Action Alert: Saudi Arabia – Oppose death sentence against Sheikh Nimr

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Sheikh_Nimr

Imminent risk of execution


Contents

1. Action Required
2. Summary
3. Background
4. Sample Letters

1. Action Required

Write letters to the foreign secretary of your country and UN commissioner of human rights demanding they stop the Saudi authorities from executing Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr.

2. Summary

Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr was arrested on 8 July 2012.  He has reportedly been tortured by the Saudi authorities.  The Saudi prosecutor in this case has reportedly called for Sheikh Nimr to be given a death sentence. 

3. Background

Saudi Arabia’s monarchy has been experiencing dissent at an unprecedented level recently.  A recent IHRC report on the kingdom has exposed the extent of suppression of dissenting voices.  This report reveals the existence of at least thirty thousand political prisoners. 

The arbitrary arrest and detention of Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr is part of this pattern of suppressing dissent.  The Saudi government has used the tool of divide and rule to manipulate its population along sectarian lines and is using imprisonment and the threat of imprisonment to quash any opposition.  The point of departure in this case is the fact that the prosecutor has called for the death sentence of a religious leader reportedly claiming he is an apostate. 

4. Sample Letters

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Sample letters are given below for your convenience.  Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details.  If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you send and the reply you received, to IHRC.  This is very important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters.
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a)  Minister of foreign affairs in your country (UK campaigners can write to the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office using the details below)

[Your name]
[Your address]
[Date]

Rt. Hon. William Hague MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office,
King Charles Street,
London,
SW1A 2AH,
United Kingdom

[Date]

Dear Mr. Hague,

Re: potential execution of Sheikh Nimr in Saudi Arabia

I am concerned by your lack of concern for the ordinary people in Saudi Arabia who are denied the right to political dissent.  You have been made aware of the existence of thirty thousand political prisoners in Saudi jails.  You have chosen to do nothing about it.  This inaction has emboldened the Saudi authorities to ask for the death penalty for the latest opposition figure under the pretence of apostasy i.e. Sheikh Nimr. 
Some people suggest that you are so callous that you will let anyone hang and not even bother with the charade of championing human rights in Saudi Arabia.  I always believe in appealing to the humanity that exists in every human being.  I hope that my optimism is not misplaced and that you will publicly and privately condemn this latest development in Saudi Arabia of crushing dissent by issuance of a death penalty.  I expect you to use your friendship with the Saudi monarchy to make sure that this dissent is not punished by death but in fact that the individual is freed.  Anything less is not an option. 

I look forward to hearing back from you regarding this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,
[Your signature]
[Your name]

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b)  UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay
Navanethem Pillay

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais des Nations

CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
[Your name]
[Your address]
[Date]

Dear Navanethem Pillay,

Re: potential execution of Sheikh Nimr in Saudi Arabia

A recent IHRC report on the Saudi Arabian kingdom has exposed the extent of suppression of dissenting voices.  This report reveals the existence of at least thirty thousand political prisoners. 

The arbitrary arrest and detention of Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr is part of this pattern of suppressing dissent.  The Saudi government has used the tool of divide and rule to manipulate its population along sectarian lines and is using imprisonment and the threat of imprisonment to quash any opposition.  The point of departure in this case is the fact that the prosecutor has called for the death sentence of a religious leader reportedly on the basis of apostasy.

I would like you to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian government to stop this madness and free this individual.

I look forward to hearing back from you regarding the actions you will be taking.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature]

[Your name]

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