Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr was a Shia cleric and opposition leader who repeatedly called for nonviolent civil disobedience of discriminatory government policy. On 8 July 2012, Saudi authorities violently arrested Sheikh Nimr in the Eastern Province town of Awamiyya. After trying him for an array of offenses related to his peaceful activism, a Saudi terrorism tribunal sentenced Sheikh Nimr to death on 15 October 2014. On 2 January 2016, the Government of Saudi Arabia executed Sheikh Nimr.

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  • Saudi Arabia Continues to Target Shia Opposition Clerics

    Saudi Arabia Continues to Target Shia Opposition Clerics


    October 11, 2016
    The Government of Saudi Arabia targets and prosecutes political and religious activists who speak out against the government. Among those it targets are dissident clerics from the kingdom’s restive Eastern Province Shia minority like Sheikh Nimr
  • The Cross-Sectarian Appeal of Sheikh Nimr’s Ideals

    The Cross-Sectarian Appeal of Sheikh Nimr’s Ideals


    September 27, 2016
    Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr was an ardent advocate against all forms of oppression. He was a Shia cleric who pushed for equality for Saudi Arabia’s Shia Muslim population, while also promoting increased political freedom for the kingdom’s Sunni
  • Medina 2009: Sheikh Nimr’s rise to prominence

    Medina 2009: Sheikh Nimr’s rise to prominence


    July 4, 2016
    Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr was not always a prominent cleric in Saudi Arabia, but by the time of his execution on 2 January 2016, he had become a symbol of Shia demands for political equality. He began to rise in prominence and popularity in
  • Sheikh Nimr and the 2011-2012 Eastern Province protests

    Sheikh Nimr and the 2011-2012 Eastern Province protests


    June 27, 2016
    Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr was a prominent voice in the struggle against Shia discrimination in Saudi Arabia. He played a large and symbolic role in the 2011-2012 demonstrations in the Eastern Province. As a result of his support for the peaceful protests,
  • Waleed Abu al-Khair and Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr: Saudi Arabia’s campaign against dissidents

    Waleed Abu al-Khair and Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr: Saudi Arabia’s campaign against dissidents


    June 16, 2016
    On 12 June, Waleed Abu al-Khair ended his five-day hunger strike. He initiated his hunger strike to protest ill-treatment by the administration of the Thahban prison in Jeddah. Prison officials refused to provide him with the medical care he needs
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Fact Check: The Truth About Sheikh Nimr



Since arresting leading Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr in July 2012, the Government of Saudi Arabia has worked to propagate a series of misperceptions aimed at degrading Sheikh Nimr’s record as a peaceful opposition figure. However, a review of Sheikh Nimr’s speeches and opposition activities demonstrates that government claims do not hold up to scrutiny. Read more

Sheikh Nimr was not a terrorist



Although Saudi Arabia made headlines on Saturday after executing 47 people convicted of "terrorism", much of the international coverage has recently focused on the kingdom's foreign affairs. Read more