120 more return from Saudi Arabia

File Photo: Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport

File Photo: Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport

Around 120 more Bangladeshi migrant workers returned from Saudi Arabia on Friday night in the face of a crackdown on undocumented workers there.

The number of returned migrant workers from the Middle Eastern country over the past two days has now risen to 250.

A Saudia Airlines plane, carrying the workers, landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport around 11:25pm, said Shariful Hasan, head of Brac Migration Program.

With them, around 12,000 Bangladeshi workers have so far been sent back home by the Saudi authorities this year alone, he said.

On Thursday night, 130 Bangladeshi migrant workers returned from Saudi Arabia.

All of those who returned on Friday are men, said Tanvir Hossain, assistant director at the Bureau of Manpower, Training and Employment.

On the other hand, 8,919 migrant workers returned to Bangladesh from different countries in September alone, Tanvir said.

However, not all of these returnees were abused or tortured abroad, he said, adding that, among the returnees, there were those who stayed overseas for as long as 18 to 19 years.

Following Friday night’s arrival, a support team, comprising government officials at the Prabashi Kalyan Desk and officials of Brac’s Migration Program, arranged food for the returnees and assisted them at the immigration office, officials said.

Quoting a number of migrant workers, Shariful said that Bangladeshi workers have been facing a crackdown in Saudi Arabia over the past several days.

Even those with an Iqama (residential permit for foreign workers) in that country were detained and sent to a deportation camp, he said, adding that their employers did not take any effective measures even after being informed of their detention.

Saudi police detained several workers while they were returning home from work, Shariful said quoting the workers.

On September 15, some 175 migrant workers returned to Bangladesh from Saudi Arabia. Another 160 returned two days later.

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