Religion

Saudi Arabia deports 39 female Ghanaian pilgrims without male guardians

Muslim pilgrims pray underneath a rocky hill called the Mountain of Mercy, near the holy city of Mecca, September 2015. © Mosa'ab Elshamy/AP/Sipa

At least 39 female Ghanaian Muslim pilgrims travelling for Hajj in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca have been repatriated because they had no male relatives escorting them, a statement from Ghana's Pilgrims office (PAOG) said on Monday.

The deportees, nine minors and 30 others, were classified by the pilgrim’s office as being without guardians. PAOG officials said Saudi Arabia requires that an adult male relative accompany women aged less than 40 attending the biggest annual Islamic pilgrimage.

The Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca takes place in the last month of the year, per the Islamic calendar.

It is a compulsory religious obligation that ought to be carried out, at least once in their lifetime, by all adult Muslims, who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their families during their absence.

Read the full article by Dasmani Laary at The Africa Report, a publication of Groupe Jeune Afrique.

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