HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, London
Rumours and false accusations are being made by various sources about the cause of the terrible accident in Makkah Almukarrama yesterday (24th September) when 717 pilgrims died.   Despite having clarified this issue during the press conference held yesterday by the respective authorities further inaccurate, misleading and distorted allegations about the cause of the tragic accident made by certain media outlets, require us to do so again.

Claims that the stampede occurred following road closures because of a ministerial event or a dignitaries convoy are false. Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki, categorically denied that a senior official’s convoy contributed to the crowd congestion in the area where so many pilgrims died tragically lost their lives. This is a malicious claim and completely untrue. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s senior dignitaries vehicles do not travel through this area. 

To the best of our knowledge this rumour was started in a broadcast through Iranian state controlled channels - Press TV and Lebanese Adiyar - which recently falsely claimed that 200 mosques were being built in Germany by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Syrian refugees and unfortunately was picked up by some British media outlets without checking the credibility of sources.

 We urge the media to check the veracity of such claims, as well as to report the situation on the ground objectively and fairly and to verify allegations before reporting them as fact.
 A full investigation into the cause of this catastrophe has been ordered by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman. As soon as the outcome of that investigation is known it will be publicised.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia takes its responsibility towards the ten million Muslims who perform Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages annually with the utmost seriousness. The Kingdom’s aim is and always has been to offer pilgrims the highest quality of care. Under the guidance of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, the Kingdom has continued annually to develop the holy places of Makkah and Medinah in order to improve services for these guests of God.

 Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims and families of this terrible accident.

 May God bless them all.