9,370 Bangladeshis in foreign prisons

A total of 9,370 Bangladeshi expatriates are detained in prisons in 26 countries, Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud told parliament yesterday.

Of them, the highest 5,746 Bangladeshis are detained in prisons in Saudi Arabia, followed by 508 in Turkey, he added.

Hasan Mahmud also said 1,226 Bangladeshis have been repatriated since July 2023, while 51 have returned from prisons in France and other European countries.

Also, around 1,950 expats have been brought back from different prisons in India, Myanmar, and countries in Middle East, he added.

The foreign ministry, expatriates’ welfare ministry, Bangladesh embassies abroad, and the International Organization for Migration are playing an integral role in the release of imprisoned expatriate Bangladeshis, said the minister.

Liaison is always maintained with police stations and public prosecution offices concerned for speedy and fair investigation of complaints brought against migrants held over criminal offences abroad, he said.

The government also communicates at the highest levels of countries concerned for special and general amnesty for detained expatriate workers, he added.

Bangladesh at present has 81 embassies abroad, through which the government also maintains diplomatic relations with other countries where Bangladesh does not have an embassy, he informed.

Hasan Mahmud also said the government is continuing its effort to maintain international attention on the Rohingya issue.

“More than 8 lakh British-Bangladeshis in the United Kingdom are making significant contributions there in politics, economy, and culture. In the context of the post-Brexit UK labour market, we believe that opportunities are there to send skilled workers from Bangladesh through a legal and orderly immigration process,” Mahmud also said.

Necessary measures have been taken as per existing laws of the countries concerned while maintaining diplomatic norms to bring back the fugitive killers of Bangabandhu, he added.

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