Ali al-Nimr, the nephew of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a Shia cleric and a political activist calling for free elections in Saudi Arabia who was executed by the Saudi regime on Jan. 2nd, 2016, was released from prison.

Iran PressMiddle East: Ali Mohammed Baqir al-Nimr spent nearly a decade in prison for attending anti-government protests and received a death penalty that was later rescinded.

He was released on Wednesday, following Saudi Arabia’s decision to commute death sentences for individuals who committed alleged crimes while minors, amid an international outcry over Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on dissent.

Nimr’s freedom was welcomed by independent UN human rights experts.

He was arrested during an anti-government protest in the Shia-majority Qatif region, Eastern Province, back in 2012 when he was only 17 years old. He was later convicted of alleged criminal activities and handed down a death penalty along with two other underage Shia men, Abdullah al-Zaher and Dawood Marhoon, by Saudi Arabia’s Specialized Criminal Court in May 2015.

The killing of Ayatollah Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr caused a global uproar against Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on minorities, especially the Shia Muslims that account for more than 20 percent of the Saudi population.

In April 2020, Saudi Arabia announced that it would stop imposing death sentences on people guilty of crimes committed when they were under the age of 18.

Riyadh has been under fire for having one of the world’s highest execution rates. The kingdom also faces criticism for restricting the access of the country’s Shia minority to public education, employment, and the justice system.