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Al Haramain Watch Send an Official Letter to the Human Rights Council in Geneva about the Saudi Arabia Politicization of Hajj

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Al Haramain Watch Send an Official Letter to the Human Rights Council in Geneva about the Saudi Arabia Politicization of Hajj

Al Haramain Watch Sends an Official Letter to the Human Rights Council in Geneva as follows:- L

Letter to the Human Rights Council in Geneva

Mr Ahmed Shahid,

United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion and belief,

We at the International Commission to Watch Saudi Administration of Muslim Places, Al Haramain Watch, urge you to discuss the politicization of Saudi holy places and also the violations committed by the Riyadh administration in the holy places in Saudi Arabia, which seriously affect the freedom of religion and belief, and to open an international investigation regarding that matter.

Al Haramain Watch expresses its deep concern over the increasing pace of religious violations committed by Saudi Arabia against the practice of worship freely and without restrictions, as the Riyadh administration arrests, prevents, deports and insults the Muslim pilgrims who came to Saudi Arabia officially after completing all entry procedures to perform Umrah, or deprives Muslims to register for Hajj because of their political views that are contrary to the policies of the Saudi authorities or to the policies of the countries allied with the Saudi administration. Saudi Arabia deprives all citizens of entire countries from Hajj and Umrah due to their political conflicts with their governments, not to mention the use of religious worship files such as Hajj and Umrah for political gain and negotiation of Islamic countries on their shares of Hajj and Umrah in return for supporting the Saudi government, as well as the arrest and torture of preachers opposed to the policies of Saudi Arabia.

Over the past three years, the International Commission has monitored many violations against the freedom of worship in Saudi Arabia that contravene all human rights laws, in particular Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The most prominent violations monitored by the International Commission:

  • The detention and arrest of many Muslim pilgrims from different countries, especially Sudan, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya, where Libyan citizen Hussein Zait said that he had escaped from the grip of the Saudi authorities and arrived at the airport of Misrata from Saudi Arabia. Zait had barricaded himself in the Libyan consulate in Jeddah after Saudi authorities tried to arrest him while he was performing Umrah last year. Zait said Saudi authorities were still detaining many pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.
  • Preventing Qatari citizens from Hajj and Umrah for the third year in a row due to political differences with the Qatari government, and the practice of racial degrading in the procedures and conditions that must be followed by the Qatari citizen in case they decided to go to perform the Hajj and Umrah, in addition the obstacles placed in their way.
  • Preventing the Palestinians of Syria present in Lebanon from pilgrimage this year because of the non-recognition of the Syrian-Palestinian travel document, as well as banning Syrian citizens, Yemenis and citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo from pilgrimage this year.
  • Refusing to make Hajj visas for some Muslims for political reasons, as happened with Mauritanian citizens when they applied for the Hajj visa from the headquarters of the Saudi Embassy in Paris, where one said that he was rejected because he is a member of the Mauritanian opposition party, knowing that the Mauritanian regime is a main supporter of Saudi domestic and foreign policies.
  • Deporting two Tunisian and Algerian pilgrims due to their arrival in the territory of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for illegal pilgrimage. One of the deported pilgrims said they arrived in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah legally, but it was clear that there were political reasons behind the deportation of. The other one said that he was deported from the airport and was not allowed to enter the territory of the Kingdom and perform Umrah, knowing that all his papers are legal, and the Saudi authorities did not explain why the pilgrims from entering Saudi territory to perform Umrah.
  • Beating and insulting pilgrims in front of their families and in front of the cameras of pilgrims and pilgrims by the Saudi security in Al-Haramain instead of providing security and respect and overcome obstacles in front of them.
  • The decision of the Saudi authorities to give Algeria a small pilgrimage quota compared to the population after the Algerian government refused to support Saudi political aggressive decisions towards the countries that oppose it. A source close to the Algerian negotiating delegation confirmed to the Commission that Saudi Arabia linked the increase of Algeria’s quota of Hajj next season to the absence of some countries or individuals from the pilgrimage. The source added that the Algerian delegation was threatened indirectly not to provide political support to some Islamic countries or take political positions different from the positions of Saudi Arabia’s political because it will eventually deprive Algeria of the pilgrimage this year or not to increase their share of the pilgrimage.
  • The decision of the Saudi authorities to ban Hajj permits for non-Emiratis residing in the UAE, where the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments in the United Arab Emirates issued a circular to the Hajj and Umrah campaigns operating in the UAE, according to which it stopped granting permits for Hajj to non-Emiratis, either in this season or the coming seasons. According to the circular, this decision comes in accordance with the instructions of the Saudi Ministry of Hajj, and in implementation of the terms of the agreement on arrangements for Hajj between the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and the delegation of Hajj Affairs of the UAE. Rashid Al Mazrouei, Director of the Hajj and Umrah Department, issued a circular to the Hajj and Umrah campaigns, apologizing for granting Hajj permits to non-citizens, either this season or the coming seasons, according to the instructions of the Ministry of Hajj in Saudi Arabia.
  • Preventing the Bidun from Hajj and Umrah and registering for the Hajj this year. The Bidun make up almost 10% of Kuwait’s population. The Saudi Foreign Ministry has made clear earlier that it does not recognize documents without temporary Kuwait (Article 17 passports) issued by Kuwait in favor of the Bidun, meaning that thousands of Muslims will be deprived of Umrah and Hajj this year. A Bedoon citizen said that he felt injustice after being prevented from performing Umrah this year and said that Saudi Arabia destroyed the true meanings of Islam and most importantly that we are all equal before God Almighty, and said that Saudi Arabia has no right to control the nationality of those who want to perform Umrah or Hajj from Muslims.

Best Regards,

The International Commission to Watch Saudi Administration of Muslim Places, Al Haramain Watch

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