Nigerian women pilgrims deported
Saudi Arabian officials have deported 241 Nigerian women from the annual hajj pilgrimage and are threatening to send back hundreds of others said to be travelling without male chaperones, sparking a diplomatic row.
Nigerian officials said three planes were turned back from the Saudi city of Medina, while 1,000 women were held in detention centres in Mecca.
Under Saudi law, women are minors who require permission from a male relative to work, leave the country or, in some cases, receive medical treatment.
But Nigeria’s Saudi ambassador, Abubakar Shehu Bunu, said it had been agreed that the Nigerian women could perform the rites as long as they were accompanied by local officials in Saudi Arabia. – (Guardian service)