Riyadh Urges Int’l Organizations to Probe Fate of Qatari Citizens Returning from Hajj

Riyadh Urges Int’l Organizations to Probe Fate of Qatari Citizens Returning from Hajj

Monday, 11 September, 2017 - 08:15
Saudi Arabia demanded an international probe to determine the fate of Qatari Hajj pilgrim Hamad Al-Marri. (AFP)
Riyadh - Asharq Al-Awsat
The Saudi-based National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) condemned the “flagrant violation of the human rights, beating, degradation and humiliation” of Qatari citizen Hamad Al-Marri after he returned from the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

It said that filming the assault and publishing the video presented a loud case of “crimes against human rights principles.”

The rights body said it had closely monitored the case of Al-Marri since the video’s release and identified that the person featured was Al-Marri, who completed Hajj under an initiative put forth by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

It added that Al-Marri had left Saudi Arabia safe and well.

Al-Marri had entered the Kingdom through the Salwa border crossing, which was opened
exceptionally for Qatari pilgrims.

“Society representatives tried to reach Hamad Al-Marri to check on his well-being, but this was impossible because all means of communication with him were cut. The possibility of locating him has also proved difficult,” it said.

“We call on the National Human Rights Committee of the State of Qatar and all international human rights organizations to do their duty to ensure the disclosure of the fate of this Qatari citizen and to protect him from the attacks and violations that have been committed against him,” NSHR said in a statement.

It also demanded that his safety be ensured and that he “not be subject to pressure imposed by certain political dictates because of his right to perform Hajj and his right to freedom of expression”.

It also demanded that all those “who exploited their political power, abuse and torture be prosecuted.”

“We also call on all institutions and institutions in Qatar to work hard to protect Hamad al-Marri and prosecute those who assaulted him regardless of their positions and forced him to film after entering the Qatari territory, and to facilitate his return to his home and his family and his right to travel and freedom of expression and the enjoyment of all natural guarantees and rights guaranteed by international treaties and human rights conventions.”

The society said it had been established that the attack on Al-Marri was directly related to his appearance in the media, including the Saudi news channel broadcasting from holy sites, contrary to the official speech of his country's authorities that had denied the existence of Qatari pilgrims.

“The National Society for Human Rights asserts that it will provide international human rights organizations with a list of Qataris who have come to Hajj to follow up on their situation and ensure their safety,” it said.

It also called on its Qatari counterpart, the National Human Rights Commission and all human rights associations, organizations and committees in the world to shoulder their legal and moral responsibilities.