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No-permit, no-Hajj: Saudi public security imposes penalties on rule-breakers

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In this photo released by the Saudi Media Ministry, security personnel standby as a limited numbers of pilgrims arrive keeping social distancing to limit exposure and the potential transmission of the coronavirus, at the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Wednesday, July 29, 2020. The hajj, which started on Wednesday, is intended to bring about greater humility and unity among Muslims. (Saudi Media Ministry via AP)

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, June 2: Saudi Arabia’s Public Security has begun imposing penalties against pilgrims who defy Hajj regulations by undertaking the pilgrimage without a permit. The implementation of this no-permit, no-Hajj policy encompasses various areas including Makkah, the central region, holy sites, the Haramain train station, security checkpoints, screening centers, and temporary security checkpoints. This move comes as part of efforts to uphold order and safety during the sacred pilgrimage.

According to a report from the Saudi Press Agency, this rule will remain effective until June 20, 2024. Any individual, whether a citizen, resident, or visitor, found contravening Hajj regulations will face a fine of 10,000 Saudi riyals ($2,666). Non-citizens will be subject to deportation to their home country and a ban on re-entry into the Kingdom for a specified period.

Public Security has emphasized the gravity of adherence to Hajj regulations and instructions to ensure the safety and peaceful completion of pilgrimage rituals. Repeat offenders will face doubled fines, as the agency underscores the necessity of compliance for the well-being of all pilgrims.

Moreover, those caught transporting Hajj violators without a permit face severe penalties. They could be imprisoned for up to six months and fined up to 50,000 riyals ($13,328), with their vehicle confiscated. Non-citizen violators will be deported post-sentence and barred from re-entry into Saudi Arabia for a specific period. Fines will escalate according to the number of transported violators, as per the agency’s statement.

Citizens are urged to report violations by contacting (911) in the Makkah, Riyadh, and Eastern regions, or (999) in other regions. This enforcement aims to maintain order and ensure the sanctity of the Hajj pilgrimage for all participants.

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