9 thousand 370 Bangladeshis are detained in foreign prisons.

9 thousand 370 migrant workers are detained in different prisons abroad, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hasan Mahmud. He gave this information in response to a written question by independent member Mohammad Hushamuddin Chowdhury during the question and answer session in the National Parliament on Monday (February 19).

The foreign minister said that the Bangladesh government is maintaining diplomatic relations with other countries through 81 embassies. Among those held in prisons outside the world are one in Portugal, six in Egypt, 81 in Italy, 385 in South Africa, six in Korea, three in Sri Lanka, 415 in Qatar, nine in Libya, 19 in Spain, 122 in Hong Kong, 66 in Singapore, 16 in Brunei, 16 in Beijing, China 184, seven in Kunming, China, 404 in Abu Dhabi, 49 in Indonesia, 5,746 in Saudi Arabia, 219 in Malaysia, one in Algeria, four in Thailand, 28 in Lebanon, 414 in Greece, 217 in Iraq, 508 in Turkey, and 358 in Myanmar. John, two in Japan, and 100 in Jordan.

Highlighting the government’s steps to release expatriates detained in foreign prisons, the minister said that from July last year to this month, a total of 1,226 detained Bangladeshis have been repatriated from Libya, 51 from prisons in France and other European countries. In addition, about 1,950 Bangladeshis have been brought back from prisons in India, Myanmar, and various countries in the Middle East. Officials of Bangladesh embassies abroad regularly meet Bangladeshi workers detained in prisons. Maintained close contact with the concerned jail authorities for their speedy release. Complaints brought against expatriate workers detained on charges of criminal offenses in various countries are liaised with the concerned police station and public prosecution office for prompt and proper investigation.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs said that a representative or a legal assistant from the embassy of the concerned country helps the expatriate workers detained in jail get justice by being present in court. The Embassy provides all-out assistance to the families of detained laborers or expatriate workers on various charges to liaise with law firms in the concerned country and obtain justice. The highest level of the concerned country is approached for special and general amnesty for laborers or expatriate workers detained in prisons. Special travel permits are issued by embassies to expedite the repatriation of migrant laborers detained in prisons after their sentences expire. Also, embassies are always in touch with the plaintiffs for the remission of the sentences of the accused who have been sentenced to death. If necessary, the Head of State sends a diplomatic letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the concerned country regarding the pardon request. Dritabas maintains regular diplomatic contact with the foreign, home, and judicial departments of the respective countries to ensure access to services for Bangladeshis imprisoned in diaspora.

Awami League Member of Parliament M. Dr. Abdul Latif’s written response to the question. Hashan Mahmud said that currently there are 51 foreign embassies in Bangladesh.

In response to Nurunnabi Chowdhury’s written question, the minister said that the government is maintaining diplomatic relations with other countries through 81 embassies. Initially, the embassies started operating through rented buildings, but later the Prime Minister directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to construct their own buildings and purchase ready-made buildings with land for 32 missions in three phases from 2016 to 2024. Currently, 17 embassies in 14 countries around the world have their own buildings.