The General Investigation Department of Tripoli confirmed that it had detained the head of the General Authority for Awqaf Abbas Al-Qadi after receiving complaints by the families of pilgrims about the decision made by the Authority on preventing escorts with elderly pilgrims performing Hajj this year.
A source said that four deaths of pilgrims have been recorded including one at Mitiga Airport in Tripoli and 3 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, adding that about 120 pilgrims over the age of 80 have arrived in Mecca with the lack of knowledge of what to do.
Sources reported that Al-Qadi was picked up from in front of the headquarters of the General Authority of Awqaf, while others said that he was from in front of arrested at Mitiga Airport in Tripoli.
The decision of the General Authority for Awqaf to send elderly pilgrims, many suffer from chronic diseases, to Mecca without escorts has caused social media anger and raised several questions over the safety of pilgrims in overcrowded sites of Mecca.
The General Authority for Awqaf allocated 60% of the total number of Libyan pilgrims this year – 7000 pilgrims – to elderly people over the age of 80, but it rejected to allow their families to escort them.