Saudi Arabia Deports 120 More Bangladeshis Including Sumi Akter Whose Video Went Viral

As many as 21,000 Bangladeshis have returned home from Saudi Arabia in the last 10 months; Sumi Akter, a Bangladeshi worker who went viral on social media recently, also returned home.

AL-BILAD: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has sent back 120 more Bangladeshi workers, raising the number of deportees to 2,615 in the last three weeks.

The workers arrived at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in capital Dhaka on Friday by Saudi Airlines flight, reports UNB.

According to Prabashi Kalyan Desk and officials at Brac’s Migration Program, as many as 21,000 Bangladeshis have returned home from Saudi Arabia in the last 10 months.

The deported workers were also provided with food and drinking water from the Brac migration program and then sent home safely.

Narrating his experience, Afzal, 26, of Narayanganj, said: “I went to Saudi Arabia expending Tk3 lakh just two and a half months ago. Unfortunately, I was caught by Saudi police who forcibly sent me back to Bangladesh despite having ‘Akama’ [permit].”

Like Afzal, Kamrul, a resident of Brahmanbaria, also went to the KSA at the cost of Tk4.6 lakh two and a half months back but compelled to return home with an empty hand.

Montu Mia, Saidul Islam of Brahmanbaria, Naim of Narsingdi, Faruk Hossain of Habiganj, and Saiful Islam of Dhaka were also sent back home in the same way.

Many of the deported workers complained that they paid money to Kafil (employers) for making Akama, but Kafil did not do so.

After arrest, they contacted Kafil but they refused to take their responsibility and suggested the administration to send them home canceling their visas.

Shariful Hassan, head of Brac’s Migration Program, said: “We expect a meeting between Bangladesh and Saudi authorities will be held three days later when this issue alongside the issue of female workers will be discussed.

“We have to stop fraudulence in the name of free visas,” he added.

DESPARDES REPORTS: Sumi Akter, a Bangladeshi worker who went viral on social media recently, also returned home from the kingdom.

Sumi was taken to a Bangladeshi-run safe house after her plea for help caught international attention.

The 25-year-old said her employer deprived her of food, beat her and sexually assaulted her during her time working in the Saudi city of Jeddah. 

In videos posted online, Akter said she was passed on to other Saudi households where she faced the same type of abuse, fearing that she would come home dead instead of alive. 

“I perhaps won’t live longer. Please save me. They locked me up for 15 days and barely gave me any food. They hit me and then burned my arms with hot oil,” Aktar said in her native Bengali as she wept and showed burn marks on her arms. 

“They took me from one home to another one. In the first home, they tortured me and hit me repeatedly and then took me to another one where I experienced the same.”

Director of Wage Earners’ Welfare Board Md Jahirul Islam received Sumi Akter at the Dhaka airport on Friday morning. She was not allowed to speak with the media.

After completing procedures, a team of Wage Earners’ Welfare Board brought her out with high security and left the airport for Panchagarh.

A video went viral on social media few days ago where Sumi was seen asking for help to be saved from the torture by her employer in Saudi Arabia. 

Later, her husband Nurul Islam lodged a general diary with Paltan police station in the capital in this regard. 

Finally, she was brought back with the help of the authorities and Brac’s migration program. 

Sumi went to Saudi Arabia as a domestic help on May 30.