• Monday, December 22, 2014

Freedom in the air

Deported Bangladeshi workers from Oman arrive

Star Online Report
Bangladeshi migrant workers, who were reportedly deported by the Omani authorities, arrive at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Friday morning. Photo: Palash Khan
The Bangladeshi migrant workers in Oman arrive at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Friday morning. Photo: Palash Khan

Over a hundred Bangladeshi workers, who were reportedly deported by the Omani authorities, arrived at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in the capital this morning.

A Bangladesh Biman flight carrying the returnees, whose work visas had reportedly expired, landed at the airport around 9:00am today.

Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Secretary Khondaker Showkat Hossain, however, told The Daily Star that his office did not have any information about the returnees.

“Oman is currently the largest job market for the Bangladeshi people. We know our people are not facing any problem there,” he said.

One of the migrants, Khalil Rahman, a resident of Mymensingh who went to Oman in 2008 and worked for four years legally after renewing his work permit twice, admitted to The Daily Star of his illegal stay there.

He was working illegally for the last two years since he could not renew his work permit, he said, adding that, three months ago, Omani police arrested and sent him to jail when he failed to show the necessary documents.

"After serving three-months of imprisonment, I was released this month and deported," he also said.

He said that a good of number of Bangladeshis are still working without valid documents there.

However, some of the returnees alleged that they had been deported by their employers despite having legal visas.

Shorab Hossain, a resident of Kishoreganj told The Daily Star that he had been working legally but his employer forcibly sacked him following his denial to pay any money to his sponsor.

Sponsors or Kafeels are responsible for finding jobs for migrant clients.

"I went to Oman in 2012 in driving visa, but my sponsor engaged me to construction work and extorted 20 Omani Riyal every month," he claimed.

"I did not have any alternative to paying the demanded money in order to retain my sponsor, but gradually he started forcing me to pay him more," Shorab said.

" I protested and thus have been sent back to Bangladesh".

Md Ellias, a resident of Brahmanbaria, who went to Oman last year, claims to have been deported forcibly by his Omani employer.

"My employer refused to pay my salary regularly for the last few months and he started beating me when I demanded it," Ellias said.

Ellias said that his employer had beaten him yesterday and forcibly brought him to Omani airport to be deported to Bangladesh.

Many of the returnees shared similar stories about their sufferings at the airport.

They also alleged that they did not receive any assistance from the Bangladesh embassy in Oman.

Published: 1:27 pm Friday, July 11, 2014

Last modified: 9:38 pm Friday, July 11, 2014

TAGS: Oman Bangladeshi workers migrant workers Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport government of Oman

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