Monday, 25 May 2020

Dhaka, Bangladesh: The High Court yesterday ordered the release of an octogenarian Burmese citizen who has been languishing in Cox's Bazaar jail for the last 12 years. He was sentenced to only two years in jail.  A division bench comprising Justice Nazrul Islam Chowdhury and Zubair Rahman Chowdhury also asked the jail authorities to explain within six weeks why the detention of Abdul Malek, 82, for more than his term should not be declared illegal.

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 The order came following a writ filed by Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST). The bench also ordered the authorities concerned to hand over Abdul Malek to the custody of BLAST. In 1994, the Bangladesh Navy arrested him along with 17 other Burmese nationals when he was entering the country in a trawler loaded with cattle. They were sentenced to two years' in jail for smuggling. All his accomplices were repatriated to Burma after serving their jail term, but only Malek continues to languish in the jail as his identity as a Burma citizen could not be confirmed. Advocate Idrisur Rahman moved the writ petition while advocate Sigma Huda appeared as intervener, said a BLAST press release.