Respect ex-Bangladesh envoy’s status as political refugee, home minister told

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Putrajaya must release former Bangladesh High Commissioner Mohammed Khairuzzaman from custody immediately and stop the process of deporting him back to Dhaka, Lawyers for Liberty said today.

Head coordinator Zaid Malek said Mohammed’s refugee status must preclude him from being repatriated, adding that he be given protection as a political refugee.

“The government should be well aware that Malaysia is bound by the principle of non-refoulement, a key principle of international human rights law which prohibits the return of individuals to a country where they would face torture, cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment, or other irreparable harm.

“We call upon the home minister and Malaysian government to respect international human rights norms and basic human decency in dealing with this case.

Shafwan Zaidon

“It should be noted that credible international organisations have recorded unlawful killings, disappearances, arbitrary arrest, and detention as well as political show trials ending in executions occurring regularly in Bangladesh,” said Zaid.

Yesterday Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin confirmed the arrest of Mohammed based on a request for extradition by his home country.

“The arrest was made according to procedures.


“According to the law, if there is an offence, we will arrest,” Hamzah said.

The 70-year-old Mohammed was Bangladesh’s high commissioner to Malaysia from 2007 to 2009.

He was picked up by authorities at his residence in Ampang on Wednesday.

He wanted in his home country for undisclosed reasons. His passport was revoked in 2009 and was recalled to the country.

He remained in Malaysia after obtaining a refugee card issued by the Human Rights Commissioner for Refugee in Kuala Lumpur.

Yesterday, Mohammed’s wife Rieta Rahman was reported as saying that it would be unsafe for her husband to be deported back.

“My husband is an honourable person, an A-grade ambassador, and an innocent man with no criminal records,” she told FMT in a phone call from the US, where she is currently based with her son.

“Bangladesh is not safe for people who are not with the current government. He will not survive if he is sent back,” she told the news portal.  – TMI

Earlier report:

Feb 10, Former Bangladesh high commissioner’s arrested