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France, Germany slam Saudi's execution of Shia cleric

Saudi Shiite women hold placards bearing portraits of prominent Shiite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr during a protest in the eastern coastal city of Qatif against his execution by Saudi authorities, on January 2, 2016France and Germany on Sunday condemned Saudi Arabia’s execution of 47 prisoners, including a Shiite cleric, voicing concerns over growing tensions in the Middle East following riots in Shiite-dominated Iran. France “deeply deplores” Saturday’s mass execution, including that of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, the foreign ministry said in a statement, calling on leaders in the region to “do everything to avoid exacerbating sectarian and religious tensions”. France opposes the death penalty “in all places and circumstances,” it said, in comments echoed by Berlin.

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