Rayhan Kabir, a Bangladeshi worker, returns home after deportation from Malaysia

Rayhan Kabir, the Bangladeshi man who was arrested and deported by Malaysia for criticising its treatment of undocumented foreign workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, has returned home. 

Narayanganj Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 22 August 2020, 02:07 PM
Updated : 22 August 2020, 02:07 PM

Rayhan reached his home in Narayanganj’s Bandar Upazila on Saturday after a Malaysian Airlines flight carrying him arrived at Dhaka’s Shahjalal International Airport.

Malaysia arrested 25-year-old Rayhan and blacklisted him from entering the country last month after he appeared in an Al Jazeera documentary published on Jul 3.

The documentary sparked an immediate backlash online while several officials decried the report as being inaccurate, misleading and unfair.

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

“I told the media exactly what I saw; what Malaysia did to the foreign workers during the pandemic was wrong. Even Malaysia could not bring charges against me during the investigation because I didn’t say anything wrong,” Rayhan told bdnews24.com at his home.

“I believe everyone in the world will support us. You are enough even alone if you are honest. I’ve fought alone and won,” he said. 

His father Shah Alam, who works at a garment factory, said the family panicked after the arrest of Rayhan.

“We were always worried because he used to protest against wrongs all the time. We couldn’t sleep well after his arrest. Now we are relieved,” Alam said.