Saudi obstacles prevent Qataris from Hajj and Umrah for the third consecutive season
Saudi Arabia’s claim to establish mechanisms to facilitate the pilgrimage is merely a maneuver to procrastinate
We Call on the European Parliament and the governments of the Union to address the Saudi authorities to stop violating the right to perform religious rites
We Call for urgent appeals and recommendations to remove Saudi obstacles to pilgrimage
Racial discrimination due to political disputes is a critical precedent that must be refereed to in United Nations reports
Brussels, 19 February 2019
Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri, Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee, said that the issue of Saudi violations and politicization of religious rituals shall be raised before the European Parliament and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), noting that no positive signs or signs of hope have been recorded, reflecting the willingness of the Saudi authorities to stop their violations and end the obstacles that deprive the citizens and residents of Qatar from performing their religious rituals for the third consecutive year. During his meeting in Brussels with the Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU and Commissioner of the European Union for Education, Culture and Youth, Dr. Ali Bin Smaikh said that more than 20 months after the blockade imposed on Qatar since June 5, The Saudi authorities have taken no effective or concrete measures to remove the obstacles that have led to the politicization of religious rites after citizens and residents of Qatar have been prevented from performing Hajj and Umrah during the past two seasons, pointing out that “there are no positive signs on the horizon, reassuring the intention of the authorities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to retreat from the intransigence and stirring up the feelings of citizens and residents who were deprived of Hajj and Umrah, under the pretext of political dispute. Al Marri also gave an overview of the psychological and material damage caused by the Saudi authorities to pilgrims and, in addition to the material losses incurred by Hajj and Umrah campaigns.
Al-Marri called on the European Parliament and the governments of the Union countries to hold their moral responsibilities and to address the Saudi authorities about their violations resulting from the denial of the rights of citizens and residents of Qatar In the practice of religious rites, stressing that the need to respect the rights of citizens and residents of the State of Qatar to practice religious rites unconditionally and to overcome all obstacles placed by the Saudi authorities. “The mechanisms that the Saudi Arabian authorities claimed to establish to address the situation of victims affected remain misleading and ambiguous, lacking credibility, and did not address the human rights and humanitarian situation of those affected by the violation of the right to practice religious rites,” Dr. Ali Bin Smaikh said.
Dr. Ali Bin Smaikh also noted the Saudi authorities’ disregard for the reports and statements of the National Human Rights Committee and the calls of the international community, particularly the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which called for an end to the obstacles facing citizens and residents in Qatar in performing their religious rituals. “Despite numerous statements by the National Human Rights Committee, the international reports and organizations and the urgent appeal of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief to the authorities of Saudi Arabia, they continue their policy of politicizing religious rituals, and prevent citizens and residents of Qatar from exercising their right to worship and perform religious rites. We know that The Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief in the United Nations had already addressed Saudi Arabia’s authorities on violations of religious rites; there had been no concrete response from the Saudi side or an end to such violations”, Al Marri said.