I committed no crime, says Bangladeshi man in Al Jazeera programme

Md Rayhan Kabir was detained by immigration authorities yesterday evening. Rayhan was featured in a Al Jazeera report titled, ‘Locked up in Malaysia’s Lockdown’ on July 3. (JIM pic)

PETALING JAYA: A Bangladeshi man featured in an Al Jazeera programme on migrants in Malaysia during the pandemic maintains he did not commit any crime or lied when interviewed by the media outlet.

According to a report in the Daily Star newspaper in Bangladesh, the man Md Rayhan Kabir had said prior to his arrest yesterday that he had only spoken about discrimination against migrants.

“I want the dignity of migrants and my country ensured. I believe all migrants and Bangladesh will stand with me.”

Yesterday, Immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud said in a statement that the authorities managed to detain Rayhan, 25, whom they have tracked since July 7 in relation to their investigations under the Immigration Act 1959/63.

Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador had confirmed to FMT two weeks ago that Rayhan’s work permit had been revoked by the Immigration Department.

Two lawyers, Sumita Shaanthinni Kishna and Selvaraja Chinniah, told the media they had been appointed to represent Rayhan and had written to the police to be allowed to meet their client. “We will be at Bukit Aman on Monday,” they said.

Al Jazeera’s report on alleged ill-treatment of migrants during a Malaysian crackdown to contain the Covid-19 pandemic had sparked outrage from government leaders, with police reports filed against the Qatar-based news channel.

Putrajaya has demanded that Al Jazeera apologise over the documentary, but the satellite network stood by its journalists, saying the report was balanced despite failure to get the response of government leaders.

Al Jazeera is being investigated for various offences, including sedition, defamation and improper use of network facilities.