Shi'ites around the world are condemning the execution of Shi'ite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi Arabia. Nathan Frandino reports.
The execution of Shi'ite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi Arabia is reverberating across the world. From Pakistan to Bahrain -- Shi'ites are marching to condemn his death. Al-Nimr was among 47 people -- many of whom were al Qaeda members -- executed on Saturday on terrorism charges. In Lebanon, one man said the cleric's death would strengthen his faith. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE SHI'ITE MAN, ABOU ALI DIMASHK, SAYING: "This is a blessing from God, our religion is used to it, martyrdom is a victory for us." Most of the executed were said to be Sunni jihadists. Al-Nimr was among four Shi'ite Muslims executed... accused of shooting policemen during anti-government protests in recent years. Saudi Arabia has defended its decision. Major General Mansour al-Turki is the spokesman for the Interior Ministry. He says: 'The security forces in the kingdom will never hesitate from following and pursuing all who commit such terrorist acts, or even join these groups or support them in any way. His end fate will be to face justice.' The Saudi kingdom's statements did little to please those in neighboring Iraq. Karim al-Nuri of the Hashi Shaabi government group which oversees the armed groups fighting Islamic State says the execution will heighten sectarian tensions. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) DEPUTY HASHID SHAABI SPOKESMAN, KARIM AL-NURI, SAYING: "This, in fact, is a clear criminal act and leads to deepen the bloodshed in the region." Nimr was the most vocal critic of the ruling Al Saud family. And now with his death, his supporters are making clear that his voice won't be silenced.