Four Myanmar prisoners released
from Dhaka Central Jail while eight hundred more linger in prisons of
Reported by Shwe Lin Yun
February 02: Five foreign nationals including four from Myanmar were released
Tuesday yesterday from the Dhaka Central Jail.
foreigners were held in prison for periods ranging from two to seven years
after the expiry of their prison terms. Officials of the Bangladesh
Society for Enforcement of Human Rights (BSEHR) received them at the Dhaka
Four of the
released foreigners are Myanmarese while one is an
Indian. None of the five intends to go back to their respective
countries. In this regards, the High Court has issued an order that, if
political asylum cannot be granted to them within two months of their release
they should be handed over to a third country within six months.
with the High Court order the officials of the BSEHR took them to a house in Dhaka
rented by the organization where they will be provided with bed and
board. Later moves will be taken to avail political asylum for
them. If the Government of Bangladesh is not willing to grant political
asylum to them, measures will be taken to seek the help of a third
foreigners are Ramzan Ali (24),
Nurul Huq alias
Nyunt Han (30), Khaing Kaung
(40), Tin Aung (40), from Myanmar,
and Sanjib Dev Varma of India.
The four from Myanmar
were fleeing the persecution by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC)
junta in a fishing trawler. On way when their trawler sank near Mongla port, the Bangldesh Coast
Guards arrested them in April 1994. The Magistrate in Bagerhat Court awarded each of
them sentences for periods varying from three to five months and a fine of taka two hundred each for illegally entering into Bangladesh.
For failure of realizing the fine the court ordered 14 more days of
entered illegally into Bangladesh
through the border of Srimangal in north-eastern part
to meet with his relatives in Bangladesh.
He had connections with the separatist movement in India.
Sanjit was also arrested for illegal entry into Bangladesh
by the Chittagong Metropolitan Police. He was
sentenced for 1 year and 4 months by the Chittagong
Metropolitan Magistrate on 24th February 1999.
Advocate Sigma Huda of the BSEHR filed a writ
petition and the division bench comprising Justice Hamidul
Haque and Justice Nazmun Ara Sultana issued on January 27 a Rule Nisi upon the
government asking it to explain why the five foreign nationals shall not be set
at liberty, said a press release Monday.
August five Myanmarese prisoners, who were kept
behind bars for five years after the expiry of their prison terms as the SPDC
junta refused to receive their own nationals, were set at liberty when UNHCR
(Bangladesh chapter) interfered.
According to a Myanmarese national released from the prison there are about eight hundred Myanmarese
nationals (ethnic Karen, Rakhine, Chin, Mon, Mrung and Muslim) who have been denied recognition by
the SPDC junta as Myanmarese nationals, lingering in
the prisons of Bangladesh.
He added that, complications arise when the
authorities in Bangladesh want to set the prisoners at liberty after the end of
their prison terms but either the Myanmarese
Embassy in Dhaka or the SPDC junta in Yangon never bother to recognize
them as the nationals of Myanmar, or take very long to reply to the requests by
the Government of Bangladesh. A human rights activist commented
that, this type of behaviour on part of the Myanmar
SPDC junta is another kind of human rights violations outside its country. #