Shia protesters sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia

Shia protesters sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia
2 min read
22 October, 2014
In another case, 13 people were jailed for planning to attack US forces.
Eastern Saudi Arabia has a large Shia community [AFP/Getty]
Two Shias, whose names have yet to be released, were on Tuesday sentenced to death for taking part in anti-government protests in Saudi Arabia.

Their sentencing follows the death sentence given last week to Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr, a leader of the protest movement in the east of the country.

Also on Tuesday, another court jailed 13 people after finding them guilty of plotting an "al-Qaeda" attack on US military forces stationed in Qatar.

Death sentences

A special court in Riyadh condemned the Shia protesters "as a deterrent to others", the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said late on Tuesday.

A third protester was jailed for 12 years.

The accused were tried on charges including "participating in marches and rallies that caused riots" in the eastern province community of Awamiya, as well as "chanting slogans hostile to the state with the intent of breaching security and overthrowing the regime".
     A special court in Riyadh condemned the Shia protesters to death 'as a deterrent to others', the Saudi Press Agency said late on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia's minority Shia community began demonstrating three years ago, following an outbreak of violence between Shia pilgrims and religious police in the Medina, a city with sacred significance to Muslims.

Protests escalated after the kingdom's intervention in neighbouring Bahrain supported the Sunni monarchy crush an uprising led by the Shia majority.

Anti-US plot

In the trial over the alleged scheme to attack US troops stationed in Qatar, a Qatari was sentenced to 30 years' jail time.

The Saudi authorities described the Qatari as "the emir of the cell", which allegedly included as many as 41 people.

Another 12 alleged plotters - 11 Saudis and one Afghan - were also sentenced to prison time.

Their plan to attack US forces was said to include the use of hand grenades, rockets, and other weapons, official media said after Tuesday's verdict.

The group intended to send someone to Iraq to learn how to make vehicle bombs that could target foreign soldiers, the SPA said.