A Saudi judge on Wednesday sentenced to death a prominent cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr whose arrest two years ago prompted “deadly” protests, the cleric’s brother said.
Sheikh Nimr was shot and arrested by Saudi regime forces in Awamiyah in July 2012 after he demanded the “release of all those detained in anti-regime protests, and all prisoners of conscience.”
His family members said he was badly tortured in jail. Nimr’s sister has recently said through her Twitter account that prison authorities are denying her brother medical care.
Moreover, Saudis have staged several demonstrations in the Eastern Province to demand the release of Sheikh Nimr since he was arrested.
Saudi activists say there are more than 30,000 political prisoners, mostly prisoners of conscience, in jails across the Kingdom.
According to the activists, most of the detained political thinkers are being held by the government without trial or legitimate charges and that they were arrested for merely looking suspicious.
Some of the detainees are reported to be held without trial for more than 16 years. Attempting to incite the public against the government and the allegiance to foreign entities are usually the ready-made charges against political dissidents.