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Malaysia revokes work permit of Bangladeshi appeared in Al Jazeera

Online Desk | Published: 12:42, Jul 12,2020

 
 

A photo collected from the internet shows Bangladeshi youth Rayhan Kabir speaks to Al Jazeera television

The immigration department of Malaysia revoked the work permit of a Bangladeshi national who appeared in the Al Jazeera documentary, ‘Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown’ recently, reports Malaysia Chronicle.

Inspector-general of police Abdul Hamid Bador confirmed that the work permit of Md Rayhan Kabir had been cancelled.

‘As such, he is required to surrender himself before deportation to his country of origin,’ he was quoted as saying by Harian Metro.

The immigration department is searching for Rayhan, 25, and several others to assist with its probe under the Immigration Act 1959/63.

This came after police opened an investigation paper under several offences, including sedition, against Qatar-owned broadcaster Al Jazeera’s 101 East programme over its 25-minute documentary aired on July 3.

The documentary highlighted the government crackdown and handling of undocumented migrants during the movement control order in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Security Council, which is coordinating the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, issued a warning that migrants risked having their immigration passes cancelled if they make ‘inaccurate statements’ against the country.

Several international NGOs said that the Malaysian government’s ‘targeting’ of Al Jazeera and migrants interviewed in their recent controversial report was putting media freedom as well as the lives of migrants and refugees at risk.

In a joint statement, Amnesty International, Civicus World Alliance for Citizen Participation and the International Commission of Jurists called on the Malaysian government to cease its investigations against the Al Jazeera team under laws ‘incompatible with international human rights law and standards and (which) should be repealed by the legislature’.

‘Rather than addressing the concerns raised in the documentary, the government has instead sought to question the reporters involved and pursue migrant workers who spoke with the media outlet.By initiating a public campaign against migrants and refugees and publishing personal details of the migrant workers who were featured, the authorities have also placed the lives and safety of those interviewed in jeopardy,’ read the statement sent Saturday night.

Several Al Jazeera staff had recently been questioned following a police probe into the July 3 101 East documentary ‘Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown’ on Malaysia’s crackdown and handling of undocumented migrants during COVID-19 pandemic.

The Qatar-based news broadcast company was being investigated under the Sedition Act, Penal Code and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

In the statement, the NGOs also expressed concern on the warning issued by immigration authorities that migrants risked having their immigration passes cancelled if they made ‘inaccurate statements’ against the country.

‘The government’s subsequent threats…appears intended to intimidate other migrant workers from speaking up about human rights violation, abuses, and mistreatment. These actions have resulted in a worrying rise in intolerance towards freedom of expression, including critical views,’ reads the statement.

The documentary angered the government — with many ministers including defence minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and home minister Hamzah Zainudin defending government treatment of migrants — and raised allegations of purported misrepresentation of facts.

However, Al Jazeera claimed in its report that they had sought to speak with Ismail, Hamzah, and their deputies for comments prior to the airing of the report, but their requests were not entertained.

Malaysia revokes work permit of Bangladeshi appeared in Al Jazeera

Online Desk

The immigration department of Malaysia revoked the work permit of a Bangladeshi national who appeared in the Al Jazeera documentary, ‘Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown’ recently, reports Malaysia Chronicle.

Inspector-general of police Abdul Hamid Bador confirmed that the work permit of Md Rayhan Kabir had been cancelled.

‘As such, he is required to surrender himself before deportation to his country of origin,’ he was quoted as saying by Harian Metro.

The immigration department is searching for Rayhan, 25, and several others to assist with its probe under the Immigration Act 1959/63.

This came after police opened an investigation paper under several offences, including sedition, against Qatar-owned broadcaster Al Jazeera’s 101 East programme over its 25-minute documentary aired on July 3.

The documentary highlighted the government crackdown and handling of undocumented migrants during the movement control order in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Security Council, which is coordinating the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, issued a warning that migrants risked having their immigration passes cancelled if they make ‘inaccurate statements’ against the country.

Several international NGOs said that the Malaysian government’s ‘targeting’ of Al Jazeera and migrants interviewed in their recent controversial report was putting media freedom as well as the lives of migrants and refugees at risk.

In a joint statement, Amnesty International, Civicus World Alliance for Citizen Participation and the International Commission of Jurists called on the Malaysian government to cease its investigations against the Al Jazeera team under laws ‘incompatible with international human rights law and standards and (which) should be repealed by the legislature’.

‘Rather than addressing the concerns raised in the documentary, the government has instead sought to question the reporters involved and pursue migrant workers who spoke with the media outlet.By initiating a public campaign against migrants and refugees and publishing personal details of the migrant workers who were featured, the authorities have also placed the lives and safety of those interviewed in jeopardy,’ read the statement sent Saturday night.

Several Al Jazeera staff had recently been questioned following a police probe into the July 3 101 East documentary ‘Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown’ on Malaysia’s crackdown and handling of undocumented migrants during COVID-19 pandemic.

The Qatar-based news broadcast company was being investigated under the Sedition Act, Penal Code and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

In the statement, the NGOs also expressed concern on the warning issued by immigration authorities that migrants risked having their immigration passes cancelled if they made ‘inaccurate statements’ against the country.

‘The government’s subsequent threats…appears intended to intimidate other migrant workers from speaking up about human rights violation, abuses, and mistreatment. These actions have resulted in a worrying rise in intolerance towards freedom of expression, including critical views,’ reads the statement.

The documentary angered the government — with many ministers including defence minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and home minister Hamzah Zainudin defending government treatment of migrants — and raised allegations of purported misrepresentation of facts.

However, Al Jazeera claimed in its report that they had sought to speak with Ismail, Hamzah, and their deputies for comments prior to the airing of the report, but their requests were not entertained.

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