A protester holds up a picture of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr during a rally at the coastal town of Qatif, against Sheikh Nimr's arrest, July 8, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer
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When Saudi security forces arrested Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr in July 2012, it sparked days of protests where three people died, a sign of the regard many of the kingdom's minority sect held for the preacher, who was executed on Saturday.Nimr, wiry and greybearded, had been the most vocal critic of the kingdom's ruling Al Saud clan for years before mass protests erupted among Saudi Shiites during the 2011 Arab uprisings, and had called for demonstrations. The kingdom's Shiites have long complained of entrenched discrimination -- denied by Riyadh -- on the part of the government and majority of Saudi Arabia, which follow the strict Wahhabi Sunni school that regards Shiites as heretical.
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