Sunday, April 20, 2014


Tajikistan

Tajik Pilgrims Detained At Saudi Border

The detainees say they had hoped to arrive in Mecca just in time for the Hajj in late October. (file photo)
The detainees say they had hoped to arrive in Mecca just in time for the Hajj in late October. (file photo)
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By RFE/RL's Tajik Service
Two Tajik pilgrims, who headed off for Mecca by foot in May, have said they have been detained before entering Saudi Arabia. 

The men said on October 5 that they are being held in the border area between the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

The pilgrims cited "visa issues" as the reason behind their detention.

The men were part of a group of seven Tajik men who had earlier pledged to travel thousands of kilometers on foot to Saudi Arabia to perform the key Muslim obligation of the hajj.

However, two of them cut short their journey and returned home, while three others decided to take a plane to Mecca from Iran. 

As the remaining members of the group, the two detained men continued their journey, hoping to arrive in Mecca just in time for the hajj in late October. 

They say they have little money and no travel insurance.

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