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5th anniv. of Mina tragedy, Mecca crane collapse: Iran says is pursuing victims’ rights

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The bodies of Hajj pilgrims killed in a crush are lying on the ground in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, September 24, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization and the Representative of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in Hajj Affairs have issued a joint statement ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Mina disaster and the Mecca crane collapse, saying Tehran is seriously pursuing the rights of victims.

The statement, which was released on Thursday, said that Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) reminds Muslims and the Iranian nation of a “bitter memory.”

On September 24, 2015, a human crush occurred during Hajj rituals in Mina, near Mecca, leaving thousands of Muslims, including 465 Iranian pilgrims dead.

Unofficial sources, based on individual reports from countries whose nationals had been among the victims of the incidnet, put the death toll at almost 7,000 people.

Earlier that month, a massive construction crane operated by the Saudi Binladin Group conglomerate collapsed onto Mecca’s Grand Mosque, killing more than 100 pilgrims, including 11 Iranians, and injuring over 200 others, 32 of them from Iran.

The statement criticized the silence of international rights bodies and media on the deadly incidents, saying it was only Iran that spoke in defense of the victims' rights.

“Although the Mina tragedy and the crane collapse incident at Mecca’s Grand Mosque happened before the eyes of the Islamic Ummah, the silence of international organizations and media added to the pain of the families of the two disasters’ martyrs,” read the statement.

Iranian officials in charge of the Hajj affairs have always underlined the need for clarifying the dimensions of the Mina tragedy through the formation of a fact-finding committee including the representatives from the countries that lost their pilgrims in the incident, it added.

It further complained that the Saudi government has not published an official report on how the tragedy occurred and has not taken responsibility for it.

“On the fifth anniversary of the Mina tragedy, the Representative of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in Hajj Affairs and Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization … emphasize that they have diligently followed up on the rights of the martyrs of Mina and Grand Mosque and will keep doing so until the desired results are achieved,” the statement read.

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