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24 more Bangladeshi migrants to return today

  • Published at 04:39 pm June 26th, 2019
WEB- Tunisia
File photo: Migrants, who were rescued after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the Tunisian Coast after they had left Libya, are seen inside a local Red Cross chapter in Zarzis, Tunisia May 11, 2019 Reuters

With this third batch, the number of returnees now stands at 56

A third batch of Bangladeshi migrants— 64 migrants who had been stranded off the Tunisian coast for 17 days—will return home, on Wednesday afternoon.

Flight QR 634, carrying the migrants, is expected to reach Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, in Dhaka, at around 5:40pm BST, a senior official of the foreign ministry confirmed. 

Earlier, the first batch—consisting of 17 migrants—returned home on June 21, and the second batch—with 15 migrants—returned on June 25.

After being stranded off the Tunisian coast of Zarzis for 17 days, the migrants were rescued by an Egyptian boat on May 31. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in Tunisia, placed them in a shelter centre—after they were rescued from the stranded boat—and initiated the process to send them back home.

Also Read- 15 returnees not survivors of Tunisia capsize

With this third batch, the number of returnees now stands at 56. 

However, the remaining eight migrants are refusing to return, despite all 64 migrants having previously signed an undertaking—negotiated by the Bangladesh Ambassador in Libya and several humanitarian organizations—with the Tunisian government, to allow them to come to shore and use its airport only to return to Bangladesh. 

If they persist on refusing to come back home, the remaining illegal migrants might be deported by the Tunisian government, officials told Dhaka Tribune. 

The Bangladesh Embassy in Libya convinced the migrants to return home.