Middle East

Son of senior Shiite preacher sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Shiites in the Qatif region of Saudi Arabia. (AFP/Getty Images)

RIYADH: A Saudi court on Monday sentenced to death the son of a senior Shiite preacher after he was convicted of shooting at security forces in the kingdom's Eastern Province, local media said, in the first such ruling in three years.

Minority Shiites have staged sporadic protests in the province for years. The latest wave of demonstrations coincided with the Arab Spring uprisings that began in North Africa in 2011.

The news website identified him as Ali al-Rubh, 26, and said his father, Sheikh Rida al-Rubh, has been leading contacts with the Saudi Interior Ministry to restore calm to the town of Awamiya, where most of the protests have taken place.

It said the convict plans to appeal the ruling.

"This was the first death sentence of its kind since protests marches began in Qatif three years ago,", another Saudi news website, said.

The Arabic daily Okaz said on its website that the man, whom it did not name, was found guilty of opening fire at security forces in the towns of Tarout and Darin, both east of the Qatif governorate, which has been at the heart of recent protests. The newspaper made no reference to any casualties from the attack.

The Jeddah court also found him guilty of buying weapons and harbouring a wanted man and rioters, it said.

At least 21 people have been shot dead in the Eastern Province since early 2011. Most Saudi Shiites live in the region and some say they suffer discrimination in the Sunni-ruled kingdom, a charge authorities deny.

The website said that around 300 people are still held on charges linked to the protests.





Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (

comments powered by Disqus



Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here