Qatari newspapers unanimously said that the National Human Rights Committee's (NHRC) call for including Saudi Arabia's violations of the right to practice religious rites, and its deliberate politicization of Hajj and Umrah, in the annual report on religious freedom issued by the US State Department is based on Saudi negative attitudes towards Qatar by placing obstacles that prevent citizens and residents of the State of Qatar from performing their religious rituals for the third consecutive year.
The newspapers expressed regret that there is no sign of any coming breakthrough in the Saudi position which rejects Qatari citizens to perform the rituals, pointing out that are increasing demands by the international community for Saudi authorities responsible for Hajj and Umrah not to mix between religious rites and existing political disputes or to use them as a tool for political pressure.
In its editorial Monday, Al-Watan said that the Saudi authorities continue their erroneous decision to politicize the Hajj and use it to achieve political gains for the third consecutive year.
The newspaper underlined that Saudi Arabia's continuation of its unjust procedures and violations of law, norms and religion were at the heart of the talks held by HE Chairman of Qatar's National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al-Marri with H.E. United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, during which H.E. Dr. Al Marri to include these violations and the deliberate politicization of Hajj and Umrah in the annual report on religious freedom issued by the US State Department.
The paper stressed that Qatar believes in the rightness of its position in defending the right of its citizens and residents, noting that Dr. Al Marri called on Sam Brownback to visit the State of Qatar and listen to the victims of the violations.
In conclusion, Al-Watan called for a firm international stance towards the violations committed by Saudi Arabia in order to preserve the principles of international law and the free exercise of religious practices.
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