Rights group slams action against Bangladeshi in Al Jazeera programme

Bangladeshi Md Rayhan Kabir has been arrested and his work permit revoked by the immigration department.

PETALING JAYA: A human rights group today criticised the arrest of a Bangladeshi man featured in an Al Jazeera programme on migrants in Malaysia during the recent lockdown as well as plans to deport him and blacklist him from re-entering the country, calling these “drastic measures”.

In a statement, Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) said these actions against Md Rayhan Kabir were unwarranted as the immigration department had yet to explain his offence.

It also accused the authorities of retaliating against Rayhan’s allegations of discrimination.

“We have scrutinised the statement made by Rayhan in the documentary and firmly restate that he has not said anything even remotely in breach of the country’s laws,” it said, adding that Rayhan was only venting his frustrations and concerns over the crackdown on migrants.

Previously, immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud said the authorities had managed to detain Rayhan, 25, whom they had tracked since July 7, in relation to investigations under the Immigration Act 1959/63.

Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador also confirmed to FMT two weeks ago that Rayhan’s work permit had been revoked by the immigration department.

LFL said this was against Section 9(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63, which meant that his deportation on grounds of being undocumented could not stand.

It also urged the authorities to stop all actions against Rayhan.

“The persecution of Rayhan sends a chilling message to migrants not to speak out or report abuse by the authorities, lest they suffer the same fate.”