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US could have prevented Sheikh Nimr’s execution: International lawyer

President Barack Obama could have stopped Saudi Arabia’s execution of Sheikh al-Nimr by making strong diplomatic representations months ago to King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Grossman said.

The United States could have easily prevented Saudi Arabia’s execution of prominent Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, says an international lawyer.

Barry Grossman made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Sunday when asked about the US’ call for Saudi Arabia to have fair judicial proceedings and respect human rights following the execution of Sheikh Nimr and 46 other people on Saturday.

“Indeed, the House of Saud is so dependent on US support that, even though it enjoys a long standing  ‘special relationship’ with America in much the same way Israel does, if the Obama administration was even remotely concerned about the rights of Nimr al-Nimr, or about his nephew Ali al-Nimr  who was recently sentenced to death and crucifixion as a result of his participation in peaceful protests when he was 17, or indeed about the rights of any of the others  eliminated by yesterday’s judicially sanctioned mass beheadings, then the US could quite easily have stopped this madness by Obama himself making strong diplomatic representations months ago to King Salman bin Abdulaziz and his inner circle,” Grossman said.

John Kirby, a spokesman for the US State Department, said in a statement on Saturday that "we are particularly concerned that the execution of prominent Shia cleric and political activist Nimr al-Nimr risks exacerbating sectarian tensions at a time when they urgently need to be reduced."

Grossman said “we can tell a lot about US commitment to any cause by the rank of those called on to publicly express US policy on the issue. Yesterday’s universally condemned mass execution in Saudi Arabia, on any reasonable view,  is a matter which demands a statement from all heads of state rather than from low level, bureaucratic underlings.”

He described Kirby’s statement as a bid to “save face” amid the universal denouncement of Riyadh’s action.

“In this instance, only the  low ranking State Department spokesman John Kirby has in the most gently worded terms possible belatedly called on Saudi Arabia to respect human rights and it is worth noting that Kirby is the same clown who only a few days ago tweeted about  the US ‘win’ in ‘bringing peace’ to Syria in 2015!  At best, his latest contrived statement is a disingenuous attempt by the US to save face as the judicially sanctioned killing of Nimr Baqr al-Nimr and 46 other people is universally condemned; while at worst, it is a sick joke,” he stated.

“Surely people can no longer be confused about the US position on these matters. The USA officially rejects all international laws and related legal mechanisms except when advancing its own geopolitical agenda by imposing them on other nations which are not amenable to US direction. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is itself a modern construct of US making and its leadership secured by a long standing pledge of unconditional US support,” he added.

He went on to say that “the problem, of course, is that Obama has already been savaged as being soft on Iran by Zionists and rogue elements in the US establishment.  In a nation of dunces, the related political dynamic goes a long way to explaining Obama’s willingness to support corrupt Congressional moves to remove the US arms embargo on Bahrain and to support the belligerent Saudi led war on Yemen as he endeavored to push the P5+1 Iran Nuclear Accord across the line and now, during the lame duck stage of his Presidency, focuses almost entirely on managing his legacy.”

He went on to say that the case against Sheikh al Nimr is “contrived and politically motivated” and that “the reality of the KSA’s systematic oppression of Shia Muslims throughout the region, could hardly be more clear. These facts scream out for some compelling official rebuttal.”

“If, as the KSA’s Justice Department spokesman has claimed, international condemnation of the process which resulted in the arrest, torture, prosecution, conviction, and simultaneous execution of these 47 individuals was unbiased, fair and supported by compelling evidence of capital crimes, then  Saudi Arabia should release the transcripts of all related interrogations and judicial proceedings so the world can satisfy itself that the  almost universal condemnation of mass execution is ill conceived,” he noted.


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