TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Daughter of Iran’s former ambassador to Lebanon, Ghazanfar Roknabadi, who died in a crush of Hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia last September, expressed resentment at lack of any effective measure for pursuing the case with legal action.
Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency on Tuesday, Zahra Roknabadi said Saudi Arabia’s move to sever relations with Iran should not get in the way of pursuing the Mina tragedy case.
At least 7,500 pilgrims died in a crush in Mina, near Mecca, on September 24, 2015, when performing religious rites. 464 Iranian pilgrims, including Roknabadi, were among those killed in the disaster.
The ex-envoy’s body was repatriated nearly two months after the incident.
Elsewhere in her remarks, Ms Roknabadi said officials have not taken any positive action on the issue, calling for measures via Iran’s interests sections at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s headquarters in Saudi Arabia.
She also complained about the lengthy process of pursuing the fate of her father, who had gone missing in the Mina catastrophe.
The body of Mr Roknabadi was transferred to Iran after a long process and exhumation in Saudi Arabia, she added, saying the corpse was so deformed that the only apparent sign showing it belonged to him was his ring.
She also raised doubt about Saudi Arabia’s autopsy operations on the bodies of Iranian pilgrims and the suspicious case of missing body organs.
The bodies of some Iranian martyrs had undergone autopsy, but the only body whose organs such as heart, kidneys, lungs and brain were taken out was Mr. Roknabdi’s, she added.
She further hoped for the necessary legal action to restore the rights of families of the victims and efforts to save the tragic incident from oblivion.
Earlier in August, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi assured the families of victims of the deadly crush that the ministry is striving to restore the rights of the families through political and legal channels.
He said all Iranian diplomatic missions are working hard to defend the rights of those who were injured or lost their loved ones in the Mina crush.
The incident marked the worst ever tragedy during Hajj.
Saudi authorities have come under fire for their inability to ensure the safety of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who converge on Mecca every year.
By Tasnim News Agency