Bangladeshi migrant worker Rayhan Kabir arrested in Malaysia, was featured in an Al Jazeera documentary
Bangladeshi migrant worker Md Rayhan Kabir’s family has urged the government to bring him back to the country as soon as possible.
Rayhan’s father Shah Alam said he is not getting any updates on Rayhan’s situation from any source.
“I used to talk to a boy who worked with Rayhan. But now he is also unreachable. I don't know anything. Where should I go? Who should I talk to, to get my son back?” he lamented on Tuesday.
The Malaysian immigration department revoked Rayhan’s work permit and the Malaysian police arrested him on Friday, confirmed Malaysian state news agency Bernama.
He was arrested and placed on remand for criticizing the Malaysian government for its treatment of undocumented immigrants during the Covid-19 pandemic in an Al Jazeera documentary, “Locked Up in Malaysia's Lockdown.”
“My son has been protesting against irregularities since his childhood. He always goes out to help if he sees someone in danger. My son never lied or committed any crime,” Rayhan’s father Shah Alam told Dhaka Tribune.
Rayhan’s mother, Rashida Begum has been bedridden since hearing the news of Rayhan’s arrest.
“Rayhan's mother's condition is very bad. We don’t know how long she will survive in this condition. She is begging to talk to our child. But what can I do? I request Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to return my son. I don't want anything else,” Alam said.
Lawyers have been given permission to meet Rayhan at 11am (Malaysian time) on Wednesday, Brac Migration Program head Shariful Islam told Dhaka Tribune on Tuesday.
“Two officials from the Bangladesh mission in Malaysia met Rayhan on Monday. He will most likely be sent back to Bangladesh soon,” he added.
According to Malaysian state news agency Bernama, Rayhan was on the run since Malaysian police launched an investigation after Al Jazeera aired the documentary on July 3, in which he made some comments about how undocumented migrants were being treated in the country.
But the Malaysian authorities have since been accusing Rayhan of making false allegations about Malaysia’s handling of such immigrants in this coronavirus outbreak.
They also dubbed the July 3 documentary "inaccurate and biased," with local police investigating the international television channel for its airing of the documentary.
In a video message recorded on July 9, which was reportedly published hours before his arrest on Friday, Rayhan said he was unsure under which law he was being sought by Malaysian authorities.
Al Jazeera also released a statement on Saturday condemning the arrest of Rayhan. “It is disturbing that someone has been detained for speaking up for the voiceless and vulnerable,” they said.
Dhaka Tribune’s Mehedi Alamin contributed to this report