SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association) — Saudi Arabia arrested a popular Shiite cleric in the country who had been wanted on “sedition” charges in the country’s Eastern Province late Sunday evening, the interior ministry said in a statement published by local Arabic newspapers.
Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr was also shot in the leg during the raid to arrest him.
He hails from the predominantly Shiite region of Qatif and has been a leader in the recent protests demanding an end to discrimination against the minority Shia in the ultra-conservative Sunni country.
Following his arrests, hundreds of protesters took to the streets to demonstrate against his detention.
Nimr has led a number of protests in recent months, which has seen the heavy hand of the Saudi security forces, killing at least two people, activists have reported.
“When the aforementioned person and those with him tried to resist the security men and initiated shooting and crashed into one of the security patrols while trying to escape, he was dealt with in accordance with the situation and responded to in kind and arrested after he was wounded in his thigh,” the state news agency reported, quoting Major General Mansour Turki, an Interior Ministry spokesman.
Turki said Nimr, who was accused of sedition, had been taken to hospital to have his injuries looked at by medical personnel.— www.shafaqna.com/english/