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<nettime> Saudis Hunt Bangladeshis
Naeem Mohaiemen on Sun, 11 May 2008 10:29:58 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Saudis Hunt Bangladeshis


If you thought immigration woes are only in Europe, here's some Muslim
ummah solidarity action...

"Saudi policemen have been hunting down Bangladeshis" "when our
workers show their absolutely genuine papers to the police, the
latter commit the sheer outrage of tearing them up" "Bangladeshis
are reportedly the only people targeted by the Saudis, with others
remaining untouched" "the bogey of Bangladeshis indulging in criminal
activities in the kingdom"

DAILY STAR
Published On: 2008-05-10
Bangladeshi workers in distress
Govt must send high-powered team to Riyadh
http://thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=35752

Bangladeshis employed in Saudi Arabia are in dire straits. That is
the truth which comes out in the media. Over the past few months,
Saudi policemen have been hunting down Bangladeshis and sending them
off to deportation centres despite many of them possessing perfectly
valid papers. As a number of anguished Bangladeshis now in the kingdom
have made it clear, the Saudi police pay no heed to the fact that
those they go after are legally permitted to work in the country. In
many cases, when our workers show their absolutely genuine papers to
the police, the latter commit the sheer outrage of tearing them up
and hauling these hapless people off to the deportation centres as
a step towards sending them back to Bangladesh. Amidst such grossly
unacceptable behaviour, the workers are unable to collect their
belongings or call their employers.

There are at present an estimated 20,00,000 Bangladeshis employed in
Saudi Arabia. It is therefore easily understandable how significant a
contribution they make to Bangladesh's as well as the host country's
economy. Now if these people (and Bangladeshis are reportedly the
only people targeted by the Saudis, with others remaining untouched)
turn, for no good reason, into objects of inexplicable wrath in
the kingdom, it becomes necessary for the Bangladesh authorities
to take up the matter with Riyadh on an urgent basis. A couple of
months ago, the Saudi authorities raised the bogey of Bangladeshis
indulging in criminal activities in the kingdom. Now they offer no
reason at all to explain why they are specifically picking them out
and dealing with them in such outlandish manner. We understand that
Bangladesh's foreign affairs adviser has been seeking a visit to
Riyadh for sometime without the Saudis coming up with any response.
Clearly, it is an abnormal situation we have before us; and it must be
tackled in an appropriate manner.

The Foreign Office must get down to the job, through our embassy in
Riyadh, of ascertaining from the Saudis the reason for the harshness
they have adopted toward our workers. Additionally, a high-powered
team must be sent to Riyadh to discuss the entire gamut of issues
involved in the situation. At the same time, the Saudi embassy here
must be asked in no uncertain terms to explain why Bangladesh's
workers in the kingdom are being subjected to such degrading,
appalling behaviour. It is the job of our government to come to the
aid of our citizens in Saudi Arabia. It is also its responsibility to
find out the causes that may have led to such sudden Saudi activity
vis-a-vis Bangladeshi workers.







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