Sat Oct 3, 2015 5:37AM
Saudi emergency personnel and Hajj pilgrims stand near bodies covered in sheets at the site of a stampede in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca, on September 24, 2015. (©AFP)
Saudi emergency personnel and Hajj pilgrims stand near bodies covered in sheets at the site of a stampede in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca, on September 24, 2015. (©AFP)
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Press TV conducts an interview with Hazem Salem, a political activist from Cairo, and Shahid Qureshi with The London Post, to discuss the puzzling Saudi version of the death toll from the Mina tragedy.

Salem says the Saudis are trying to play down the death toll from the human crush in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca, because they want to hide the realities behind the incident.

The Saudi regime’s behavior after the tragedy shows it is pursuing its regional differences with Iran even during the Hajj pilgrimage rituals, adding that Riyadh has politicized the issue in order to avoid an investigation into the deaths of thousands of pilgrims.

The activist rejected as totally unacceptable Riyadh’s attempts to dodge its responsibility for the Mina disaster, saying it is an un-Islamic move to blame the pilgrims for the human crush, especially by the so-called custodians of holy mosques.

According to international and Islamic laws, Saudi Arabia is fully responsible for the tragic incident and must allow all nations, even those that have a single victim among the dead, to participate in the investigation into what happened.

In turn, Qureshi also holds Riyadh responsible for the Mina tragedy, saying Saudi officials must launch an inquiry into the disaster and bring the culprits to justice.

There were security cameras all over the path of Hajj pilgrims in Mina; thus, the Saudis should be able to discover how exactly the crush broke out and who is to blame, he says.

Families of the victims have the right to know what happened to their loved ones during the most important Islamic rites, Qureshi concludes.