The agency reports that Salaam Kazim was arrested for crying in the Baqi Cemetery after being told to stop by Saudi security forces.
The cemetery is a point of contention between Sunni and Shiite Muslims after the King of Saudi Arabia demolished the mausoleums at the site in 1925. The destruction, which was decried internationally, included the mausoleum containing the remains of Mohammed’s grandson, the second in line of imams revered in Shiite Islam.
In the course of his arrest, Kazim objected to the presence of the Saudis (who adhere to the Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam) being in the cemetery and summarily cursed the forces and their teachings. Kazim was arrested immediately, taken to court and sentenced to be beheaded after the Hajj.
The incident comes on the heels of a statement released by Amnesty International about their latest report on Saudi Arabia’s dismal human rights record. Amnesty released the statement ahead of a UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva to discuss the Kingdom’s human rights record.
Amnesty’s latest report titled “Saudi Arabia: Unfulfilled Promises,” criticizes the Kingdom for “ratchet[ing] up the repression” in the last four years. Since 2009, the Amnesty report says that Saudi Arabia has engaged in “an ongoing crackdown including arbitrary arrests and detention, unfair trials, torture and other ill-treatment.”
Read more at Clarion Project