09:10 GMT26 January 2021
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    Mass Execution in Saudi Arabia Whips Up Tensions (108)
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    The French Foreign Ministry has called for prevention of escalation of tensions in the Middle East in the wake of Saudi executions of 47 people, including a prominent Shiite cleric.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) On Saturday, the Saudi Interior Ministry announced the execution of Shia cleric Sheikh al-Nimr, an outspoken critic of the Saudi monarchy, along with 46 other people convicted of terrorism.

    "France reaffirms its continued opposition to the death penalty in all places and in all circumstances. It calls on the leaders of the [Middle East] region to do everything to avoid exacerbation of sectarian and religious tensions," the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

    Late on Saturday, demonstrators protesting in Tehran against the execution of Sheikh al-Nimr, attacked the Saudi embassy. Local police reportedly detained 40 protesters. Protests resumed in the Iranian capital the following day.

    Al-Nimr was sentenced to death on charges of inciting hatred and disobedience to the Saudi king in 2014.

    Mass Execution in Saudi Arabia Whips Up Tensions (108)


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