Grand Ayatollah condemns heinous behavior of Saudi police

Qom, April 8, IRNA – Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makerm Shirazi condemned the heinous behavior of Saudi Arabian police towards two Iranian teenage pilgrims.

He expressed dissatisfaction with the incident and said, “my question from Iranian Hajj officials is this; are we compelled to perform Omrah Hajj (which is not compulsory) under any mean circumstances and at any degrading conditions?”

“and I am addressing Saudi officials; yes, you have done gigantic construction projects in Mecca and Medina. But the most important thing here is security, especially for the honor and dignity of people. If there is no security in Jeddah airport, then will there be security in Mecca and Medina streets?”

“What will world people say about you if security conditions in your international airport suffers?,” the ayatollah said.

‘I am telling our own officials not to easily ignore the issue. They should sit down to think as how long in the future we are going to make this pilgrimage of non-obligatory Hajj ritual, he stressed.

He added, “we should definitely not yield to every insulting situation to perform a non-obligatory ritual.’

Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi was referring to an incident for two Iranian teenage boys in Jeddah airport when they were leaving Saudi Arabia.

Foreign Ministry Deputy for Consular and Iranian Expatriate Affairs Hassan Qashqavi said on Tuesday that Iran has submitted a letter to the Saudi charge d’affaires in Tehran over the incident.

Explaining the incident, he told reporters on Tuesday that according to the Iranian head consul in Jeddah, the two teenagers were asked by two Saudi police officers for more body inspections when they were leaving a Saudi airport.

Noticing that the inspection had taken longer than usual, their fellow passengers took notice that the two teenage boys had been sexually harassed, Qashqavi said.

The Iranian consular officials lodged a complaint file and informed the police chief of the airport of the incident, he noted.

He added that the Saudi police summoned all its officers on duty in the airport and then asked the two teenage boys to identify the ones who did the crime.

According to Qashqavi, the Saudi police too urged punishment for the two officers and said that the act was a discredit to both the country and the police force.