RIYADH —A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced to death a Shi'ite Muslim convicted of sedition, rioting, protesting and robbery in the district of Qatif, home to many of the Sunni kingdom's minority sect who say they face entrenched discrimination.
The sentence, issued on Tuesday and reported by state media early on Wednesday, is the second time in a week the death penalty has been imposed on a Shi'ite involved in unrest in Qatif, located in the oil-producing Eastern Province.
The judge's decision to apply the penalty can still be challenged in an appeal court, the supreme court and then by petitioning the king.
More than 20 people have been killed in Qatif since February 2011 when large protests erupted calling for democracy and equal rights between Sunnis and Shi'ites.
Demonstrations have continued sporadically. Some funerals for local people killed by security forces have also attracted thousands of mourners.
The government has said most of those killed died in shootouts between gunmen and the security forces and that police have been regularly shot at and attacked with petrol bombs, but local activists say some were shot during peaceful protests.
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