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HC again orders probe report for deaths in Mediterranean Sea

  • Published at 12:09 am July 2nd, 2019
File photo of Bangladesh Supreme Court Dhaka Tribune

Expatriate Welfare ministry has formed a high powered inter-ministerial committee to probe the incident

The High Court yesterday ordered the government to submit its probe report within 60 days about the travel agencies and human traffickers responsible for the deaths of 37 Bangladeshis in the Mediterranean Sea in May, 2019.

The HC bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahsan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader issued the order following a writ petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer Emdadul Huq.

Deputy Attorney General (DAG) ABM Abdullah-Al-Mahmud Bashar stood for the state, while Advocate Emdadul Haque Suman represented the writ. 

During the writ’s court hearing, DAG ABM Abdullah-Al-Mahmud Bashar informed the court that the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment has formed a high powered inter-ministerial committee led by an additional secretary, to probe the deaths of the 37 Bangladeshis at sea. 

The Expatriate Welfare ministry has sent a letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs for identifying and taking appropriate actions against the travel agencies and human traffickers responsible for sending those now dead, and other Bangladeshi nationals abroad, illegally. 

DAG Bashar also placed a report before the court from the superintendent of police (SP) of Noakhali, saying that the police were trying to identify the three  human trafficking syndicates reportedly responsible for the incident.

Thirty-seven Bangladeshi migrants died after two boats carrying over 100 migrants, capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the Tunisian coast on May 9 and 10.

Advocate Mohammed Emdadul Haque filed the petition earlier on June 17 with annexed newspaper reports about the death of Bangladeshis in the Mediterranean Sea.

The present writ seeks HC directives to take appropriate action in this regard according to the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act, 2012.

It also seeks directives against the travel agents which unlawfully sent the Bangladeshi nationals to Italy in harm's way.

The writ also seeks an HC order for just compensation to the tune of Tk1 crore for each victim’s family.

Secretaries of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Foreign affairs, Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Superintendents of Police (SP) of Noakhali and Sylhet were made respondents to the writ.

Earlier, on June 24, the bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader gave by and large the same order as today and asked the respondents to report within a week.