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The International Commission to Watch Saudi Administration of Muslim places “Al Haramain Watch” Releases its Third Monthly Report


Date 1st  April 2018

Number (3)

Documented a Series of Abuses and Administrative Failures

The International Commission to Watch Saudi Administration of Muslim places “Al Haramain Watch” Releases its Third Monthly Report


The International Commission to Watch Saudi Administration of Muslim places “Al Haramain Watch” issued its third monthly report for March 2018, in which it monitored the most prominent violations by the Saudi authorities in the management of the Islamic holy places in the Kingdom. The report documented a number of violations such as Saudi Arabia’s use of Hajj and Umrah visas, deportation and detention of pilgrims and destruction of the upcoming Hajj season, the inefficiency of new programs used in Hajj and Umrah, the practice of political extortion using Hajj and Umra as a political pressure card, the purchase of American weapons from the hajj and Umrah revenues.


Defamation Campaign against Al Haramain Watch

According to the report, in March 2018, the Commission monitored the Saudi media and the Saudi embassies for defamation against The International Commission to Watch Saudi Administration of Muslim places “Al Haramain Watch”  by using its embassies around the world to carry out these hostile and absurd acts. The latest was funding and mobilizing more than 40 institutions in Malaysia to issue a statement denying the existence of The Commission, knowing that Saudi Arabia has made all attempts to intervene to cancel all the activities and events carried out by the Commission in the world, but all their attempts failed.

The Continued Detention of Libyan Pilgrims

The report revealed on 7 March 2018 the escape of the Libyan detainee Hussein Zuait from the grip of the Saudi authorities and access to the airport of the city of Misurata, coming from Saudi Arabia. Zuait was holed up in the Libyan consulate building in Jeddah after Saudi authorities tried to arrest him while performing Umrah last year. Zu’ait said Saudi authorities were still holding several Libyan pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.


The New Fingerprint System Failed

The Commission monitored on 12 March 2018, the new fingerprint system failure after Saudi Arabia imposed all pilgrims this year, which is implemented through the Saudi Tasheel company to facilitate the granting of Hajj and Umra without testing the system and not providing centres commensurate with the number of pilgrims.

The Commission said in its report that the Saudi administration imposed the new fingerprint system without adequate study. The implementation of the fingerprint resolution based on an economic study only without taking into account the number of centres to take the fingerprints of pilgrims and the number of pilgrims and the locations of these centres. The Arab Republic of Egypt, which led to the accumulation of pilgrims before the doors of the work of fingerprint, especially that the Umrah visa linked to them.

One of the Egyptians said,”The Saudi company was a facilitator who was lying to us in taking our fingerprints. We had to travel to a remote province to get to their centre. When we arrived, the numbers of citizens were large. We did not get the role, knowing that there was no place to wait, We have been informed by the Tourism Bureau that our flight bookings have been lost. ”


The purchase of American weapons from the proceeds of Hajj and Umrah

On March 26, 2018, Al Haramain Watch monitored Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s meeting with US President Donald Trump and US Defense Secretary James Matisse. Media sources said that during those meetings had been agreements worth $ 110 billion, including more than one billion dollars for arms contracts. Where Saudi Arabia bought from America anti-tank missiles worth 670 million dollars and 6600 missiles Tao, contracts for the maintenance of helicopters worth 103 million dollars and the cut of many types of land vehicles worth 300 million dollars.

Saudi Arabia’s revenues from Hajj and Umrah travel are estimated at about $ 13 billion a year to go to the Saudi International Treasury through hotel reservations, transportation, fees, food, etc. Hajj and Umrah are the second largest source of income after oil. The weakness of the services provided to pilgrims, the dilapidated infrastructure and the failure of the Hajj and Umrah administration are clear evidence that the Hajj and Umrah revenues were not paid to serve the visitors Mecca and Madina.



Deprivation of Muslims from Umrah

In its report on March 27, 2018, the Commission noted that the Saudi authorities banned the Egyptian media and writer Sami Kamal al-Din because of his political views opposing the Saudi regime and the Egyptian regime. The Saudi regime still prohibits Muslims from performing Islamic rituals, especially Hajj and Umrah, for political reasons. The Commission said that preventing Muslims from performing their Islamic worship freely violates international treaties and laws that guarantee the freedom of worship of human beings.

“One of my works is now being sold at the 2018 Riyadh International Book Fair and despite the fact that I am prevented from performing Umrah,” said Sami Kaluddin, an Egyptian writer and journalist. Sami Kamaluddin is an Egyptian writer and journalist who was born in Qena Governorate in southern Egypt. He is a member of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate and has many books, such as “Dialogues from the South of forgotten homeland”.


Denial of some Islamic Countries from Registering for Hajj

On March 30, Al Haramain Watch noted that many Malaysian citizens were denied registration through the Saudi Hajj program. The Commission received numerous complaints from Malaysian government officials, Hajj fund holders and citizens about their denial and suspension of the electronic registration program this year before the closure. There are no places to accommodate the increase in the number of pilgrims in Malaysia.

A source close to the Malaysian government said that the number of people registered with the Malaysian Hajj Fund has exceeded 3 million. The Malaysian government has sent many requests to the Saudi authorities to increase Malaysia’s pilgrimage, but they have always replied that there is no more places for Malaysian pilgrims this year , knowing that all pilgrims in Malaysia are trained to perform the rituals of pilgrimage and organize and arrange during the performance of the pilgrimage.

A Malaysian citizen expressed anger at the Saudi authorities’ decision not to increase Malaysia’s share of the pilgrimage, despite promises by the authorities there to increase the number of pilgrims this year. “I do not know when my pilgrimage is coming,” said the 73-year-old Malaysian. He continued “I started saving for Hajj for years and I feel very angry because I am deprived of the pilgrimage.”


Activities, Achievements of the Commission during March 2018

On March 8, 2018, Al Haramain Watch sent a letter to British Prime Minister Teresa Mae to press Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to respect human rights in Saudi Arabia, especially with regard to freedom of worship. Where the Saudi administration violates the rights of individuals during the performance of Hajj and Umrah, such as the deportation and arrest and denial of many Muslims around the world to perform their religious activities freely for reasons and political positions that contradict the policy of Saudi Arabia and the destruction of historical Islamic monuments.

The letter explained that Saudi Arabia is practicing the political exploitation of places of worship in Saudi Arabia and that there are British Muslim citizens who were deported during their arrival to Saudi Arabia for the purpose of pilgrimage or pilgrimage while performing their worship in Saudi Arabia.

In its letter to the prime minister, the commission stressed that the British government must have a moral role in exerting pressure on Saudi Arabia to stop these violations and abide by international and regional conventions, treaties and charters.

The Commission affirmed that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all international covenants and treaties stipulate the right of all people to freely exercise their slaves, while the Saudi administration continues its violations against Muslims and prevents them from arresting, deporting and depriving them of practicing their worship freely.

At the end of its report, the International Organization for Supervision of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the two men denounced the abuse by the Saudi authorities of Muslims and denied them the right to perform religious rites without any convincing justification. The international body called on the Saudi authorities to stop such practices and the need to respect them under international law and the Charter of the United Nations signed by Saudi Arabia, in particular article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

It is noteworthy that Al Haramain Watch was established in the year 2018 with the aim of exerting pressure to ensure Saudi Arabia’s good management of the holy sites and the preservation of Islamic historical sites and the non-politicization of Hajj and Umrah.

The Commission says that its depth is represented by all Islamic countries, and that it is keen to ensure that Saudi Arabia does not harm holy sites, whether it is inefficient management or any kind of management based on policies linked to individuals or influential people.



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