"This is how Sheikh al-Nimr described the life of the Shiites in Saudi Arabia - « From the moment you are born, you are surrounded by fear, intimidation, persecution and abuse. We are born into an atmosphere of intimidation. We are even afraid of the walls. Who among us is not familiar with the intimidation and injustice to which we have been subjected in this country ? I am 55 years old, more than half a century. From the day I was born until today, I have never felt safe in this country. You are always being accused of something. You are always under threat. The Director of State Security admitted as much to me. He told me when I was arrested - “All of you Shiites should be killed”. That’s their logic.An excerpt from, "Former Italian Prime Minister: Saudi Arabia Expressed Desire To Nuke Iran" by American Herald Tribune, January 13, 2016:
In terms of its interior policy, the régime favours only the Sunni or Wahhabi half of the population, and discriminates against the other half. Prince Mohammed ben Salman advised his father to have Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr decapitated because he had dared to defy him. In other words, the state condemned to death and executed the leader of the opposition, whose only crime was to have formulated and repeated the slogan - « Despotism is illegitimate ». The fact that this leader was a Sheikh of the Shia movement only reinforces the feeling of apartheid against non-Sunnis, who are forbidden a religious education, and also forbidden to enter into public service. As for non-Muslims, about a third of the population, they are not allowed to practise their religion and can not hope to receive Saudi nationality."
D’Alema also criticized what he called a “provocative execution” of Shia religious cleric and nonviolent activist Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr by the Kingdom, along with 46 other accused terrorists. The executions have sparked outcries across the Middle East, especially in Iran, and demonstrations outside the Saudi embassy in Tehran caused the Kingdom to sever diplomatic ties with Iran.An excerpt from, "Iran, Saudi Arabia and the US" by Masoud Kazemzadeh, The Hill, January 14, 2016:
The former Prime Minster also said cited the new Saudi government’s policies in Yemen as evidence of a “hostile and worrisome point of view.”
“I knew Prince Faisal very well. He was foreign minister for 39 years,” D’Alema said, adding that the late king Abdullah had conveyed interest in the destruction of Shia Iran by an atomic bomb.
Riyadh, he claimed, has also attempted to sabotage efforts by the Islamic Republic to open relations with the West.
Nimr al-Nimr spent 10 years in Iran attending a Shia seminary and became a cleric. In a speech, he stated explicitly that he supports the establishment of the system of Velayat Faghih in “Bahrain, Iraq, and all the places in the world.” In the same speech, al-Nimr also advocates secession of the Eastern Province if the regime does not meet the demands of the Shia. The Shia constitute 10 to 15 percent of the population of Saudi Arabia, and about 70 percent of the Shia live in the Eastern Province where much of the Saudi oil is located at. In another speech delivered during the protests in Iran after the disputed elections in 2009, al-Nimr strongly supports Ayatollah Khamenei, the then-president Ahmadinejad, and sides against the reformists and pro-democracy Iranians who were struggling against the violent crackdown and repression. Al-Nimr goes so far as to say that Khamenei is a “reformist… and is more reformist than the reformists,” which is an utterly absurd lie. In another speech, al-Nimr compares the former Crown Prince Naif of Saudi Arabia to “kafar” [apostate], and celebrates his death and says that he is in hell. Citing a Koranic verse, al-Nimr says that the Koran celebrates the deaths of apostates. Al-Nimr also says that he wishes to see the Saudi ruling family and the Khalifeh ruling family in Bahrain dead as well.