Saudi Shiite cleric sentenced to death for 'sedition'

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Verdict risks further tensions with Saudi's minority Shiite community


A Saudi court on Wednesday sentenced prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr to death after convicting the anti-government protest leader of "sedition" and seeking "foreign meddling" in the country, his brother and lawyer said.

The verdict risks a further escalation of tensions with Saudi Arabia's minority Shiite community.

Nimr, a driving force behind 2011 protests against Saudi Arabia's authorities in the Eastern Province, was also convicted of seeking "foreign meddling" in the country, a reference to Iran, his brother Mohammed al-Nimr wrote on Twitter.

The court also found Nimr guilty of "disobeying" the kingdom's rulers and taking up arms against security forces, his brother said.

The Saudi authorities, for their part, have yet to comment on the ruling.

Nimr, who is in his 50s, had been on trial since March 2013.

Read the rest of the article published on Middle East Eye on 15 October 2014