Dozens of Uzbek citizens who have performed the hajj without the permission of the republic’s muftiate are detained upon returning to their homeland, Ozodlik reports.
Employees of the State Security Service (GBS) detained 35 pilgrims in the building of the Tashkent airport on August 28.
It is reported that this group of believers went to Hajj not through the republican Spiritual Administration of Muslims, as is customary, but through private companies in the UAE.
According to the publication, the pilgrims were interrogated for seven hours. The siloviki were interested in how much these people paid for the trip, who was the leader of their group, etc.
At some point, one of the detained women could not stand it and indignantly stated that she had stood in line for 30 years to go to the Hajj, but did not wait for it. In the holy land, she said, she and other believers did nothing wrong, but only prayed “for the health of our president.”
After the words of the Muslim woman about the head of state, the State Security Service began to communicate with the detainees in a milder form and soon released them.
However, the Muslims were taken away their passports, promising to return after additional interrogation.
Last year, the Uzbek government asked the Saudi Arabian embassy in the UAE to stop issuing visas to Uzbeks seeking to die (small pilgrimage) through private travel agencies.