Human rights group condemns Qatar over ‘humiliation’ of pilgrim

Al-Marri is seen in the screenshot praising the Saudi generous services offered to Qatari pilgrims as he was being interviewed by Saudi Al-Ekhbariya TV.
Updated 11 September 2017
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Human rights group condemns Qatar over ‘humiliation’ of pilgrim

RIYADH: The National Society for Human Rights in Saudi Arabia has condemned the “flagrant violation of the human rights, beating, degradation and humiliation” of Qatari citizen Hamad Abdul Hadi Al-Marri after he returned from Hajj, and said filming the assault and publishing the video were “crimes against human rights principles.”
The Society said it had followed the case of Hamad Al-Marri since the publication of the video and verified that the person was Al-Marri, who completed Hajj under the program of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and left Saudi Arabia safe and well.
He had entered the Kingdom through the Salwa border crossing, which was opened
exceptionally for Qatari pilgrims. “The representatives of the society tried to reach the victim Hamad Al-Marri to check on him, but this was impossible because of the closure of all means of communication with him, or the possibility of locating him,” it said.
“We call on the National Human Rights Committee of the State of Qatar and all international human rights organizations to do their duty to ensure the disclosure of the fate of this Qatari citizen; to protect him from the attacks and violations that have been committed against him; to ensure his safety, and that he is not being subjected to pressure imposed by certain political dictates because of his right to perform Hajj and his right to freedom of expression; and to ensure that all those who exploited their political power, abuse and torture are prosecuted.
“We also call on all institutions and institutions in Qatar to work hard to protect Hamad Al-Marri and prosecute those who assaulted him regardless of their positions; and to facilitate his return to
his home and his family and his right to travel and freedom of expression and the enjoyment of all natural guarantees and rights guaranteed by international treaties and human rights conventions.
“The society calls upon the government of Qatar to promptly declare its innocence of this crime, identify and punish the aggressors, and grant the victim Hamad Al-Marri all fair compensations and allow him unrestricted freedom of movement and travel.
The society said it had been established that the attack on Al-Marri was directly related to his appearance in the media, including the Saudi news channel from the holy sites, contrary to the official speech of his country's authorities, which denies the existence of Qatari pilgrims, and his appreciation for the services received by his fellow pilgrims and facilitating their affairs, which is contrary to the official speech of the State of Qatar.
“The National Society for Human Rights asserts that it will provide international human rights organizations with a list of Qataris who have come to Hajj to follow up on their situation and ensure their safety,” it said.
It also called on its Qatari counterpart, the National Human Rights Commission and all human rights associations, organizations and committees in the world to shoulder their legal and moral responsibilities.
The society said it had visited the Qatari pilgrims at their headquarters in the holy sites and confirmed their enjoyment of all their rights, which ensured the performance of their pilgrimage rituals with ease.


Saudi MERS outbreaks killed 23 over four months: WHO

Updated 21 min 46 sec ago
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Saudi MERS outbreaks killed 23 over four months: WHO

  • The latest figures take the number of confirmed cases to 2,220 since September 2012, including 1,844 from Saudi Arabia
  • The disease is hard to spot, partly because it often infects people with an underlying condition such as diabetes, renal failure or chronic lung disease

GENEVA: Outbreaks of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) killed 23 people in Saudi Arabia between Jan. 21 and May 31 this year, the World Health Organization said on Monday.
The deaths were among 75 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) during the period, the WHO said, and take the total number of deaths from the disease to 790 since it was first diagnosed in humans in 2012.
The latest figures take the number of confirmed cases to 2,220 since September 2012, including 1,844 from Saudi Arabia.
One outbreak in February hit a private hospital in Hafer Albatin region, where the patient passed the disease to three health workers. There was another cluster of six cases in a hospital in Riyadh in the same month, although no health care workers were infected.
Two other clusters affected households in Jeddah and Najran.
MERS-CoV is a member of a virus family ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. It appears to have emerged in humans in Saudi Arabia in 2012, although it has been traced in camels, the source of the infection, back to at least 1983.
The disease is hard to spot, partly because it often infects people with an underlying condition such as diabetes, renal failure or chronic lung disease.
But it kills one in three sufferers, and hospital workers are at risk unless extreme caution is taken to identify MERS sufferers early and to protect health care workers from infection via airborne droplets such as from coughs and sneezes.
Susceptible people should avoid contact with suspected cases and with camels, and anyone who has contact with animals should wash their hands before and afterwards, the WHO said. Everyone should avoid drinking raw camel milk or camel urine, or eating undercooked meat.
Three MERS cases have been reported this year outside Saudi Arabia. Oman and the United Arab Emirates each reported a case, while in Malaysia a man fell ill after drinking unpasteurised camel milk during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.