Shiite Cleric, 47 others set for execution in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia on Saturday announced the execution of 47 prisoners accused of terrorism charges, including a Shiite cleric who was a central figure in 2011 Arab Spring-inspired protests in the kingdom.

The killing of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr may spark new unrest among Saudi Arabia's Shiite minority, largely concentrated in the kingdom's east, and in Bahrain, which has seen low-level violence since 2011 protests by its Shiite majority demanding greater rights from its Sunni monarchy.

The cleric's name was among a list of the 47 carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency. It cited the Interior Ministry for the information. Saudi state television also reported the executions.

Of those executed, Saudi Arabia said 45 were Saudi citizens, one was from Chad and another was from Egypt.

Al-Nimr has been a vocal critic of the government of the tiny island nation of Bahrain

NYT

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