Al Baqee at United Nations in Geneva

Oct 9th - 12th

The Al Baqee Organization is currently in Geneva attending the Universal Periodic review Sessions from Oct 9th-12th. The Al Baqee Organization has submitted a petition in the United Nations Human Rights Council (OHCHR) as part of its Universal Periodic Review of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. You can review the submitted information here:

UPR Submission: http://bit.ly/baqeeupr

UPR Annex: http://bit.ly/baqeeannex

Call To Action: http://bit.ly/baqeenext

The Al Baqee Organization met with Delegates and Representatives of several UN Member States (countries) to make them aware of this important issue. The next step for OHCHR is to undergo the review process. More details can be obtained at this URL: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/SAindex.aspx

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WANT TO HELP US?

Momineen across the globe, especially from Canada, Australia, France and Great Britain (UK), need to do the following:

  1. Contact UN Ambassador of your country to make them aware of the issue:
  2. Demand them to include rebuilding of Jannat-ul-Baqee as Key Recommendations for review
  3. Provide with them the UPR Submission, UPR Annex and Call To Action material provided above

KEY RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Allow all women equal access to all sacred religious and historical sites, especially in Jannat-ul-Baqee
  2. Permit Muslims whose beliefs do not conform to the state-endorsed, Wahhabi, religious practise to visit and perform religious rituals at Islamic sacred heritage sites
  3. Remove harassing personnel from Jannat-ul-Baqee and Jannat-ul-Moalla
  4. Remove signs posted at Islamic holy sites which encourage intolerance amongst Muslims
  5. Repair Jannat-ul-Baqee and restore it to its prior condition
  6. Establish a national policy to protect all Islamic holy sites from future destruction.

Destruction of Religious and Cultural Heritage Sites

Saudi Arabia’s past, current, and planned destruction of cemeteries, shrines, and other historic sites threatens to eradicate Islamic heritage sites of significance to millions of Muslims around the world. The destruction has selectively targeted shrines, mausoleums and cemeteries of particular significance to Shia and other Muslims who do not ascribe to the government’s mandated religious belief and practice. Research estimates that more than 90 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s historical landmarks and archaeological heritage have already been demolished and that the rate of destruction has increased over the last few years. Of particular significance is the Baqee cemetery in Medina (where many of the Prophet Muhammad’s family members are buried) which has been nearly destroyed.

Discrimination and Violence against Women and Minorities Visiting Holy Sites

Women are entirely prohibited from entering most religious sites. Saudi religious police aggressively police sites of significance to Shia Muslims, in order to prevent them from performing rituals of commemorating special holidays and making visits to graves. Saudi Arabia denies Muslim pilgrims who visit Mecca and Medina the opportunity to visit these sites, and systematically abuses pilgrims who attempt to pay respects there. Pilgrims visiting holy sites been insulted, threatened, pushed, detained and beaten by police.

Advance Questions to Saudi Government

  1. What is the position of the government regarding the rights of Women (both Saudi nationals and pilgrims on Hajj) to equal access to Islamic holy sites?
  2. Does the government oppose the designation of the Baqee cemetery as a UNESCO heritage site?
  3. What, if any, other protections exist to preserve Islamic heritage sites of significance to Shia and other minorities?

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