NewsWest AfricaSaudi Arabia deports 39 female Ghanaian pilgrims without male guardians

Thu,23Nov2017

Posted on Monday, 29 August 2016 15:37

Saudi Arabia deports 39 female Ghanaian pilgrims without male guardians

By Dasmani Laary

Hundreds of thousands of Muslim pilgrims make their way to cast stones at a pillar symbolizing the stoning of Satan, in a ritual called At least 39 female Ghanaian Muslim pilgrims travelling for Hajj in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca have been repatriated because they had no male relatives escorting them, a statement from Ghana's Pilgrims office (PAOG) said on Monday.

The deportees, nine minors and 30 others, were classified by the pilgrim's office as being without guardians.

PAOG officials said Saudi Arabia requires that an adult male relative accompany women aged less than 40 attending the biggest annual Islamic pilgrimage.

The Pilgrims Affairs Office, Ghana regrets to announce the repatriation of some 39 female pilgrims from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca takes place in the last month of the year, per the Islamic calendar.

It is a compulsory religious obligation that ought to be carried out, at least once in their lifetime, by all adult Muslims, who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their families during their absence.

The first batch of 500 out of 1,500 Ghanaian Muslim pilgrims departed from Ghana's new Tamale International Airport on August 19, to Jedda, Saudi Arabia.

PAOG officials said they were working with immigration officers and Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Ghana to rectify the problem.

"It is our hope that when it is done, the affected pilgrims will return to continue their pilgrimage," the statement said.

"The Pilgrims Affairs Office, Ghana regrets to announce the repatriation of some 39 female pilgrims from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

According to Ghana's Hajj committee, about 5,000 pilgrims are scheduled to travel from the West African country to Saudi Arabia for this year's Hajj pilgrimage.



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