7 Jan 2016

NZ Islamic Council condemns execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr

8:40 am on 7 January 2016

The execution of the prominent Shi'ite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi Arabia has been strongly condemned by the Islamic Council of New Zealand.

Demonstrators hold pictures of Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr as they protest outside the Saudi Embassy in Ankara to protest against the execution by Saudi Arabia of the prominent Shiite cleric.

Demonstrators hold pictures of Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr as they protest about his execution. Photo: AFP

His death was among 47 Saudi executions over the weekend, which have led to the cutting of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran and ramped up regional tensions in the Gulf.

The New Zealand government said it did not agree with the killings but would not say if it would affect trade deal talks.

The Islamic Council of New Zealand said the sheikh was a leading scholar and renowned community leader, who never incited violence.

It said the Saudi regime was openly founding, funding and supporting extremism and violent ideologies and terrorist organisations, such as Al-Qaeda and Islamic State, throughout the world.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs