From Michael Pearson and Yousuf Basil writing at CNN:
Saudi Arabia said Saturday it had executed 47 people in a single day, including a dissident Shiite cleric, Nimr al-Nimr, who had repeatedly spoken out against the government and the Saudi royal family.
Nimr had been convicted of inciting sectarian strife, sedition and other charges following his 2012 arrest.
Human rights group Amnesty International had called the charges against Nimr vague and pronounced his death sentence “appalling.” The group said the case against him was part of a systemic effort by the majority Sunni government to crush dissent among the nation’s Shiite Muslim minority.
Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional rival, issued a statement Saturday deploring the execution and warning that Saudi Arabia would pay a heavy price for its policies.
“The execution of a personality such as Sheikh Nimr who had no means other than speech to pursue his political and religious objectives only shows the depth of imprudence and irresponsibility,” Press TV cited Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi as saying.
In addition to Nimr, Saudi officials said Saturday that 46 others had been executed at 12 sites after convictions for terror acts.
Read the rest of the story at CNN.