Raihan wants to return home from Malaysia

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 01:04, Jul 30,2020


Md Raihan Kabir

Detained Bangladeshi worker Md Raihan Kabir expressed his intent to be deported from Malaysia to return home, according to his lawyers.

The Malaysian authorities took Raihan, 25, in custody to quiz him for 14 days on July 25 in a case filed against him by the immigration department after arresting him on July 24.

Rayhan had appeared in a documentary titled ‘Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown’ by Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera accusing the authorities of racism against undocumented migrant workers.

‘Raihan is keen to go back whenever the Malaysian authorities decide to send him back. He wants to go back to be with his family,’ C Selvaraja, one of the two lawyers of Raihan, said after meeting him in custody on Wednesday, according to the Malay Mail.

The two lawyers C Selvaraja and Sumitha Shaanthinni said they met Raihan with permission from the immigration department.

‘He had no intention to accuse the authorities,’ Selvaraja said.

The lawyers said their client had apologised for his statement made in the interview with Al Jazeera, which was made as he became emotional after seeing his friends being detained in raids against undocumented migrants in May.

Raihan reportedly said that he did not mean to accuse the law enforcement authorities and the police have already recorded his statement, according to the lawyers.

They said they would write officially to the immigration department seeking to know when he would be deported.

The Malaysian authorities revoked his work permit after he was featured in the Al Jazeera documentary.

Bangladesh high commission officials in Kuala Lumpur met Raihan at the detention centre on Tuesday under an arrangement called consular access to know his situation and next possible courses to be set for him, according to the foreign ministry.

Bangladesh Labour Rights Forum and Bangladesh Nari Sramik Kendra on Wednesday demanded that the government should engage with the Malaysian government for ensuring release of Raihan Kabir.

The two organisations raised the demand through presenting a memorandum to the foreign ministry after forming a human chain in front of the National Press Club in the capital in this regard.

The other demands included stopping harassment of migrant workers abroad.

Bangladesh labour Rights Forum President Abul Hossain and BNSK executive director Sumaiya Islam led the human chain in which Bangladesh Textile Garments Federation general Tapan Saha, Bangladesh-India Songhoti Porishad general secretary Bachu Mia, IID chief executive Sayeed Ahmed, Bulbul Ahmad of Samajtantrik Sramik Front, among others, also spoke.

Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Wednesday that Raihan’s arrest was a clear retaliation for his criticism of the Malaysian government policies towards migrants.

The Malaysian police are investigating Al Jazeera for sedition among several other Malaysian laws, according to the Malay Mail.

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