Staff Correspondent, The Daily Star
Around 50,000 Bangladeshi nationals were freed from foreign jails over the last five years, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali told the parliament yesterday.
As per the statistics placed in parliament, the minister said a total of 49,503 Bangladeshis were released in 20 countries between 2012 and May, 2016.
The highest 18,721 Bangladeshis were released from Malaysian jails during the period, while 17,335 prisoners in Saudi Arabia and 5,000 in the UAE, said Ali replying to lawmakers’ queries.
In the scripted answer, the FM said 2,025 were released from Singapore, 1,982 from Mexico, 875 from India, 728 from Turkey, 720 from Jordan, 650 from Lebanon, 440 from Iraq, 377 from Myanmar, 250 from Hong Kong and 241 from Pakistan.
Apart from this, 48 were released from Nepal, 45 from Brunei, 35 from Belgium, 17 from Iran, nine from Korea, three from Libya and two from Morocco.
Meanwhile, in reply to queries, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told the House that Bangladesh had extradition treaties with India and the UAE.
Bangladesh signed “the agreement on the transfer of sentenced persons” with the UAE in October 2014, he said.
In reply to another query, he said Pakistan’s reaction on the trial of war criminals in Bangladesh was totally irreverent, biased, unacceptable and beyond etiquette.
The minister said after the execution of war criminals Pakistan parliament brought condemn motions and its foreign minister issued arrogant statements.
“These are unblushing interference in an independent country,” he said.
He mentioned that Pakistan government’s statements in favour of war criminals were tantamount to admitting its involvement in mass killing during 1971 and accepting the responsibility.
About the tri-national treaty among Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, the minister said there was nothing stated in that agreement that persons involved in crimes against humanity like mass killing, arson and rape could not be tried.
Rather Pakistan itself failed to follow the compulsion to bring its citizens involved in mass killing under trial, he added.