Malaysia deports Bangladeshi who criticised treatment of migrants

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia has deported a Bangladeshi worker who criticised the government's treatment of migrants in a documentary made by broadcaster Al Jazeera, the country's director general of immigration confirmed yesterday.

Mr Mohammad Rayhan Kabir was deported to Bangladesh on Friday, Mr Khairul Dzaimee Daud said.

He did not say why Mr Rayhan was deported.

Accompanied by immigration officers, Mr Rayhan was seen waving and giving a thumbs up to reporters at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Friday night, state media outlet Bernama reported.

Malaysia arrested Mr Rayhan, 25, and blacklisted him from entering the country last month, after Al Jazeera's July 3 documentary on Malaysia's treatment of undocumented foreign workers during the pandemic sparked a backlash in the South-east Asian nation.

At that time, Qatar-based Al Jazeera said it was disturbing that Mr Rayhan had been arrested "for choosing to speak up about some of the experiences of the voiceless and the vulnerable".

Rights groups have accused the government of suppressing media freedom after the authorities questioned Al Jazeera's journalists, raided their office, and opened into alleged sedition, defamation and violation of a communications law.

Malaysia arrested hundreds of undocumented foreigners, including children and Rohingya refugees, after the country imposed a lockdown to contain the coronavirus.

Officials said the arrests were to prevent the spread of the virus.

Activists have also voiced concerns that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's administration is stifling dissent amid a series of clampdowns, an accusation the government has denied.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 23, 2020, with the headline 'Malaysia deports Bangladeshi who criticised treatment of migrants'. Subscribe