Crimes that led to Al-Nimr’s execution

Updated 05 January 2016
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Crimes that led to Al-Nimr’s execution

DAMMAM: The Kingdom announced Saturday it had executed 47 prisoners convicted of terrorism charges, including Al-Qaida detainees and a prominent Shiite cleric who rallied violent protests against the government.
The Shiite radical, Nimr Al-Nimr, had been convicted of committing eight crimes and delivering numerous hostile and fiery speeches since 2002 which led to the death and injury of several police officers.
Al-Nimr's speeches were a driving force behind the violent protests that broke out in 2011 in Qatif that served third parties, most notably Iran.
He has been delivering regular religious sermons on Fridays at Imam Hussain Mosque in Al-Awamiyah since 2002. Later his sermons took on a political hue. He accused statesmen and security forces of blasphemy and called for public uprising against the state.
In March 2009, he criticized the Saudi authorities and suggested secession of the Shiite regions to form a united Shiite state. During the Shiite-led protest in Bahrain, Al-Nimr demanded the exit of Gulf armies from Bahrain, criticizing the rulers there, and demanding the release of what he called political prisoners.
In October 2011, he accused the Saudi media and state officials of covering up the "tyrannical oppression" of security forces, describing them as riot troops. In addition, he insulted the leaders and officials, objecting to appointments made by the state.
Al-Nimr demanded the formation of an internal religious opposition front to counter action against the Shiite agitation. Also, he called for public uprisings and disobedience, accusing the Kingdom of killing innocent Shiites.
He was detained several times, most recently on July 8, 2012, when he was shot in the leg by police in an exchange of gunfire. He was taken to hospital for treatment.
On Oct. 15, 2014, Al-Nimr was sentenced to death by the Special Criminal Court for his involvement in supporting terrorist cells facing security forces, resulting in the death and injury of security men and dozens of civilians. He was considered as the most dangerous instigator of sedition in the eastern region of the Kingdom.
Nimr Baqr Al-Nimr was born in 1959 in the city of Al-Awamiyah in Qatif province, and studied in his hometown. He traveled to Iran, where he joined the educational Hawza program for about 10 years before heading to Syria.
Al-Nimr's wife died in 2012 after a bitter struggle with cancer. She was taken to the United State for treatment at government expense.


World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

A Saudi woman and her friends celebrate her first time driving on a main street of Alkhobar city in eastern Saudi Arabia on her way to Bahrain on June 24, 2018. (AFP / HUSSAIN RADWAN)
Updated 25 June 2018
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World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

  • As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-ti
  • The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet 

JEDDAH: The world awoke on Sunday to images and video footage many thought they would never see — newly empowered Saudi women taking the wheel and driving their cars.

As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-time drivers.

The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet.

“I hope doing so on the day when women can drive on the roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows what you can do if you have the passion and the spirit to dream,” she said.

In a tribute to Saudi female drivers, the Lebanese soprano Hiba Tawaji released a special video of a song she performed live in Riyadh at a concert last December “Today women in Saudi Arabia can legally drive their cars,” she said. “Congratulations on this achievement, this one’s for you!”

Back home in Saudi Arabia, the atmosphere was euphoric. “It’s a beautiful day,” businesswoman Samah Algosaibi said as she cruised around the city of Alkhobar. 

“Today we are here,” she said from the driver’s seat. “Yesterday we sat there,” she said, pointing to the back.

“I feel proud, I feel dignified and I feel liberated,” said Saudi Shoura Council member Lina Almaeena, one of the first women to drive in the Kingdom.

She told Arab News that the event was changing her life by “facilitating it, making it more comfortable, making it more pleasant, and making it more stress-free.”

Almaeena urged all drivers to follow the traffic and road safety rules. “What’s making me anxious is the misconduct of a lot of the drivers, the male drivers. Unfortunately they’re not as disciplined as they should be. Simple things such as changing lanes and using your signals — this is making me anxious.

“But I’m confident: I’ve driven all around the world when I travel, especially when I’m familiar with the area. It’s really mainly how to be a defensive driver because you have to be.”