M Khairuzzaman, Bangladesh’s former high commissioner to Malaysia, has been arrested by Malaysian authorities, Malaysian Home Minister Hamza Zainudin confirmed
M Khairuzzaman, Bangladesh’s former high commissioner to Malaysia, has been arrested by Malaysian authorities, Malaysian Home Minister Hamza Zainudin confirmed. The ex-diplomat, who was living as a refugee in Malaysia, now faces the risk of deportation.
A former army major, Khairuzzaman was appointed as the country’s high commissioner to Malaysia in 2007 by the then caretaker government in Bangladesh. He was among several people with controversial backgrounds, considered close to the earlier regime, who were sent abroad on diplomatic postings during the period.
In 2009, when the Hasina government came to power, he was recalled home. Following this, he resigned from the service and refused to come back, fearing legal actions by the government. Later, he took a UN refugee certificate and started living in Malaysia.
The circumstances surrounding his arrest remain unclear, with contradictory claims by Bangladesh and Malaysian authorities. The Daily Star reported, citing the Malaysian home minister, that the arrest came after a request from his “home country” (Bangladesh).
On the other side, Shahriar Alam, Bangladesh’s state minister for foreign affairs, said the Malaysian Interior Ministry reported the violation of immigration laws by the former diplomat.
"We are trying to bring him back as soon as possible," Alam said.
"Khairuzzaman is at a deportation center in Malaysia right now. As far as I understand, there is an opportunity to interrogate him again and investigate the case against him," Alam was quoted as saying by The Daily Star.
He, however, expressed no knowledge of the former envoy possessing a UN refugee card. Khairuzamman’s lawyers, meanwhile, termed his arrest without any valid reasons, and have been seeking his release.
Since coming back to power in 2009, the Hasina government has been pursuing several such individuals identified with the previous regimes —many of them cleared of criminal charges in controversial trials during earlier the regime— residing in foreign countries.