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Qatari Pilgrims Harassed in Mecca Grand Mosque

Qatari Pilgrims Harassed in Mecca Grand MosqueQatari Pilgrims Harassed in Mecca Grand Mosque

Saudi authorities have prevented Qatari nationals from entering the Grand Mosque in Mecca, marking a sharp escalation in the diplomatic crisis between the two Arab states, the Doha-based Al Sharq newspaper has reported.

Qatar’s National Human Rights Commission received complaints from Qatari citizens that pilgrims from Qatar were barred from entering the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, the paper said on Saturday, Aljazeera reported.

Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri, the NHRC head, called the incident a flagrant violation of the right to practice religious rites as permitted by human rights conventions, the paper said.

The NHRC denounced the incident, considering the step a violation of the right to perform religious rituals guaranteed by human rights conventions, Al Sharq added.

It should be noted that Saudi authorities do not normally question people entering the Grand Mosque on their ethnicity or sectarian affiliation.

The claims come a few days after the UAE and Bahrain criminalized “sympathy” for Qatar on social media.

The UAE said offenders would be punished with a jail term of up to 15 years and a $136,000 fine. Bahrain declared it punishable by imprisonment of up to five years.

Caption: Pilgrims conduct their rituals at Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (File Photo)

 

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