Iranian Parliament to investigate Hajj stampede

Tehran, Sept 25, IRNA – Iran’s Majlis (Parliament) will investigate Hajj stampede in which more than 100 Iranians got killed during the stoning of the devil ritual, a senior MP said on Friday.
Mohammad Reza Mohseni-Thani a member of Iran’s Majlis Security and Foreign Policy Commission made the remarks on Friday.

Speaking to IRNA, he said that the Majlis Security and Foreign Policy Commission will hold a special session to discuss the Hajj stampede.

Blaming the Saudi officials for the disorder which result the Hajj stampede, the MP urged Iran’s Judiciary and Foreign Ministry to pursue the case.

Some pilgrims say they are afraid of continuing the ritual stoning of the devil amid complaints of inexperienced police and a lack of organization.

According to the Guardian Daily, witnesses to a stampede that left more than 700 people dead at the hajj in Saudi Arabia on Thursday blamed Saudi authorities and said they were afraid to continue the rituals.

The worst tragedy in 25 years at the annual Muslim pilgrimage occurred on Thursday during the symbolic stoning of the devil at Mina, just outside the holy city of Mecca.

Saudi Arabia’s latest Hajj disaster raises serious safety questions.

Huge numbers of pilgrims alone do not explain recurrence of fatal accidents – state must take blame for poor planning and incompetence.

At least 717 people were killed and 863 people were hurt (according to official Saudi statistics), spurring King Salman to order “a revision” of Hajj organization while authorities started to investigate the disaster.

“There was crowding. The police had closed all entrances and exits to the pilgrims’ camp, leaving only one,” said Ahmed Abu Bakr, a 45-year-old Libyan who escaped the stampede with his mother.

He added that police at the scene appeared inexperienced. “They don’t even know the roads and the places around here,” he said as others nodded in agreement.

One outspoken critic of redevelopment at the holy sites said despite the large numbers, police were not properly trained and lacked the language skills for communicating with foreign pilgrims, who make up the majority of those on the Hajj.