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Director of Hamburg Islamic Center Slams Death Verdict against Sheikh Nimr

Hamburg’s Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Reza Ramezani criticized the death sentence against highly-revered Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr.

“Is it fair that a person is entitled to the award of Sakharov due to his defense of freedom of expression, but a religious scholar who practices his religious duty to direct human beings with his insightful comments is doomed to be executed?,” Ayatollah Ramezani the director of Islamic Center of Hamburg said.

He harshly criticized the determined death penalty against al-Nimr as an inhumane act by Al Saud and expressed regret over the silence of the media on the issue.

Pointing to the misrepresentation of freedom of expression by some world governments, he said, unfortunately people in today world tend to upside down the reality.

“Not long ago, the Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi who was sentenced to a decade in prison and 1000 lashes for “spreading liberal thoughts” and “insulting Islam,” was honored with the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize, which is a human-rights award,” he said, adding that the head of European Parliament Martin Schulz, then, called on Saudi King Salman to immediately release Badawi.

On the other hand, Ramezani added, a Shia cleric and religious leader, using the same ‘freedom of expression’ to act his religious duty and responsibility, is sentenced to death, guilty of seeking “foreign meddling” in the kingdom, “disobeying” its rulers and taking up arms against the security forces.

Ironically, the world media and those who claim protecting human rights are completely silent, and even avoid to reflect the position of Islamic authorities and scholars in defense of the Shia cleric, Ayatollah Ramezani underlined.

He said that Mohammad Baqir al-Nimr is one the great scholars of Islam who, unfortunately, is in jail in the worst situation.

“A cleric who is concerned with religion, the guidance of mankind and fight against oppression, is sentenced to death and this would have heavy price for the Saudis,” he stated.

Ayatollah Reza Ramezani is the director of Hamburg Islamic Center and the representative of Shia Marjaiyat in Germany. He was responsible for managing Imam Ali Islamic Centre at Vienna for three years. He received all the theological degrees from level 1 to level 4(considered as the doctorate degree). He was accepted with a high degree in Ijtihad. Besides theological education, he has also completed his academic education and was awarded with a PhD.

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