The Saudi police officers accused of harassing two young Iranian pilgrims in Jeddah Airport had their first court session today, June 1.

Hassan Qashqavi

Hassan Qashqavi

Iran’s deputy foreign minister in charge of consular affairs said the trial took place in branch seven of the criminal court in Jeddah.

The report from the Central News Unit indicates that the indictment prepared by the Jeddah Prosecutor calls for the death penalty for the officers. Hassan Qashqavi told reporters that the Islamic Republic Consul General was also present at the trial.

The prosecutor has charged the two officers with “malversation, failure to perform job duties appropriately and committing an abominable criminal act”.
The report adds that the defence will present its case on Wednesday June 3, the next court session.

Last March, when an Iranian caravan of pilgrims was leaving Saudi Arabia through Jeddah Airport, two Iranian youths were separated from the group on the pretext of security checks and were reportedly subjected to sexual harassment by the two officers currently on trial.

The news triggered widespread outrage among the Iranian public and clergy, which led to the suspension of the Umrah Pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.