German officials have expressed concern over the execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia.
“The execution of Nimr al-Nimr strengthens our existing concerns about increasing tensions and deepening rifts in the region,” said an unidentified German Foreign Ministry official on Saturday, hours after Riyadh announced the execution of Sheikh Nimr along with 46 others for terrorism-related charges.
The German official reiterated Germany’s previous positions regarding Saudi Arabia’s repeated cases of executions, saying Berlin is still of the view that death penalty is an inhumane form of punishment.
Reactions continued to pour in over the execution of Sheikh Nimr on Saturday, with governments, individuals and rights groups slamming the kingdom for the move.
In condemnation of the execution of Sheikh Nimr, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said, “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.”
Germany has in the past criticized Saudi Arabia for its human rights violations, urging the kingdom to stop using death penalty for activists and members of the civil society.