Report: Lawyers for Bangladeshi interviewed by Al Jazeera stopped from meeting client

Bangladeshi national Md Rayhan Kabir was arrested by the Immigration Department and will be deported. — Picture via Facebook Immigration Department
Bangladeshi national Md Rayhan Kabir was arrested by the Immigration Department and will be deported. — Picture via Facebook Immigration Department

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 — The Immigration Department did not allow lawyers for Bangladeshi worker Mohammad Rayhan Kabir to meet with him when they tried to do so yesterday.

The Dhaka Tribune reported that the lawyers for Rayhan, who was the main interviewee in a Al Jazeera documentary alleging mistreatment of undocumented migrants during the Covid-19 pandemic, had initially been scheduled to meet him at 2pm yesterday.

However, BRAC Migration Programme chief Shariful Hasan reportedly said they were told on arrival that they would not be allowed to meet Rayhan and must reschedule.

Shariful was also quoted as saying that officials from the Bangladesh High Commission in Malaysia will soon meet Rayhan.

“The lawyers have also asked for help from the Foreign Ministry of Bangladesh and the high commission. Nothing Rayhan said even remotely in breach of Malaysian laws,” he said.

Rayhan was arrested last week, after his work permit was revoked following the airing of the documentary.

Rayhan's father Md Shah Alam appointed Sumita Shaanthinni Kishna and Selvaraja Chinniah as his son's counsel.

Despite criticism by rights groups including Lawyers for Liberty, local activists, and NGOs over Rayhan's treatment, the Bangladeshi government has yet to publicly comment on his arrest.

Malaysian authorities were also investigating Al Jazeera separately over the documentary.

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