Ayatollah Sheikh Al Nimr Baqir Al Nimr was a recognized religious authority in Saudi Arabia and had a large number of supporters in neighboring Bahrain.
He studied theology in Iran. Considered an “instigator of the insurgency”, he was arrested on July 8, 2012 and wounded in the leg by opposing “resistance to the security forces.”
He was a charismatic supporter of the Shia minority and a virulent critic of the Saudi regime. That is why he was in the line of sight for many years of his life. In 2011, in the middle of the “Arab Spring,” he led the protest movement in eastern Saudi Arabia, a region where the oppressed and marginalized Shiite minority is concentrated in the predominantly Sunni country.
According to his brother, Mohammed Al Nimr, he was “a religious, humble man who led a simple life which made him attractive to young people and he enjoyed a” special and distinguished position” with Shiites in Saudi Arabia. “.
According to his official website, www.sknemer.com, run by his family, he was briefly detained several times between 2003 and 2008 for demanding the release of activists and more rights for the Shia community, such as being able to teach.
During his sermons, he kept repeating:
“We are determined to claim our legitimate rights by peaceful means.”
Nevertheless, his death sentence for “terrorism”, “sedition”, “disobedience to the sovereign government” and “carrying weapons” was announced on October 15, 2014 by a Riyadh court.
At the age of 56, the religious cleric was beheaded, on January 2, 2016 along with 46 other people.
Today, three years later, the situation of the Saudi Shiite community has not improved, and the persecutions are in full swing under the leadership of crown prince Mohamed bin Salman , who entered a criminal frenzy that culminated in the brutal murder of journalist Khashoggi.