Saudi authorities must open an urgent investigation into the death of more than 550 pilgrims

After the current Hajj season ends, hundreds of thousands of Muslims are getting ready to leave the Holy Lands of Mecca and Medina; however, despite the Saudi regime’s claims, hundreds of them will depart with broken hearts, as their loved ones perished as a result of the dangerously high temperatures and inadequate medical care.

As reported, the temperature reached 51 degrees Celsius, causing about 600 pilgrims—including women—to die from heatstroke. This is unmistakable proof that the state was not as ready as it claimed to be to receive pilgrims in weather appropriate for the temperatures that had been announced earlier.

Images of bodies lying in the street and by the side of the road, with no response from authorities, and with ambulances and field hospitals present, further demonstrate the disregard and carelessness with which pilgrims’ lives are treated. It also demonstrates the application of a double standard, as authorities stepped up security measures when checking Hajj permits and demonstrated exceptional skills in apprehending noncompliant pilgrims, but they did not take the same precautions when it came to the security and safety of pilgrims.

Death during the Hajj is to be expected, particularly in cases of stampede and large numbers. However, when a death results from excessive heat and carelessness, this can never be allowed, especially since the Saudi regime claims to be dedicated to both protecting pilgrims and the climate so that extreme heat does not result in a similar tragedy. However, the Saudi regime provides unmistakable evidence that it is not trustworthy when it comes to pilgrim safety and that it is also lying about preserving the climate and lowering reliance on fossil fuels.

It is important to remember that the G20 “Climate Risk Atlas” report said, “If Saudi Arabia continues on its current high-emissions trajectory, science indicates that it will suffer catastrophic climate impacts. By 2050, Saudi Arabia will experience an 88% increase in the frequency of agricultural droughts if immediate action is not taken. Heat waves are predicted to last more than 4242% longer, and the combination of rising sea levels, coastal erosion, and harsher weather will have a disastrous effect on Saudi Arabia’s economy, which is projected to lose roughly 12.2% of its GDP by 2050.

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