Qataris denied entering Saudi’s grand mosque
Al Sharq newspaper has on Saturday reported that Qatari nationals have been prevented by Saudi authorities from entering the Grand Mosque in Mecca, to show their level of the cut of the diplomatic ties with Qatar.
According to the Doha-based newspaper, Qatar’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) received complaints from Qatari citizens that pilgrims from Qatar were barred from entering the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca.
Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri, the NHRC head, called the reported incident a flagrant violation of the right to practice religious rites as permitted by human rights conventions.
In a statement, his office denounced the alleged Saudi barring of Qatari citizens from entering the Grand Mosque, saying it considered the step a violation of the right to perform religious rituals guaranteed by human rights conventions, Al-sharq said.
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 criminalised “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.