The Saudi authorities detained a number of Umrah pilgrims for wearing Palestinian keffiyeh

The Saudi authorities have detained a number of Umrah pilgrims from various nationalities for wearing Palestinian keffiyeh in a show of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

The Saudi authorities escorted these Umrah participants to isolated rooms, intentionally treating them in a demeaning and harsh manner for the entire duration of their detention, while threatening them with imprisonment.

Additionally, the detainees were forced by security forces to sign a pledge not to repeat the act. These detentions occurred simultaneously with the conflict launched by the Israeli occupation forces against the Gaza Strip, starting from the 7th of October last year.

These detentions form part of a continuum of abuses by the Saudi authorities directed at pilgrims and Umrah attendees, starting from barring them from the Hajj and Umrah to arresting, imprisoning, or unjustly deporting them to their home countries’ jurisdictions. These practices are seen as part of a deliberate strategy by the authorities to use the sacred rites as a means to further their political goals against anyone who disagrees with them on any political, ideological, social, or other issues.

The Observatory for Hajj and Umrah Violations urges the Saudi authorities to halt all practices that jeopardize the safety of pilgrims and Umrah attendees and to desist from using sacred observances for political ends, actions which are in conflict with all religious, customary, and legal principles.

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