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Saturday, May 31, 2008
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Bangladeshi on death row in Bahrain to be executed

Bahrain will execute a Bangladeshi in firing squad for killing a fashion designer of that country, reported All Headline News, a US-based news website on Thursday.

The date for execution of Mizan Noor Al Rahman Ayoub Miyah is yet to be fixed.

Mizan, a cook, was convicted of murdering Sana Al Jalahama in 2006 but the execution decision comes at a time when Bahrain stopped issuing work permits to Bangladeshis, All Headline News said.

Manama's ban followed demands by a group of Bahraini lawmakers for expelling Bangladeshis from the Gulf country after the killing of a local allegedly by a Bangladeshi last week.

Meanwhile, Dhaka has expressed regrets to Manama for the killing of the Bahraini national and urged it to lift the ban. Bangladesh mission in Manama said Dhaka would examine criminal records, if any, and conduct psychological tests of Bangladeshis planning to come to this country.

All Headline News reported that during interrogation Mizan admitted killing the Bahraini woman following a row over the quality of food he cooked.

The case, pending with court for two years, was put on the 'fast track' after reports that King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa gave permission to General Public Prosecutor Dr Ali Al Buanin on Thursday to carry out the sentence.

Human rights activist Nabeel Rajab of the now defunct Bahrain Centre for Human Rights said, "This decision comes when the attitude of the country (Bahrain) is anti-Bangladeshi."

Referring to Bahrain's decision to stop issuing new visas for Bangladeshis, he said, "This is a frightening decision at the wrong time. Was the Bangladeshi given fair trial and had access to a lawyer? Were the proceedings monitored by their embassy? There are several questions but no answers at this critical juncture."

Bahraini newspaper Gulf Daily News yesterday quoted Bangladesh embassy Charge d'affaires Saiful Islam as saying it can be easily found out if they (Bangladeshis planning to come to this country) have any criminal records or not. "If required, the system could also be extended to include Bangladeshis already working in Bahrain…If it is found that they have criminal records, we can send them home," he said.

The offer to introduce new checks on overseas workers is included in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on labour reforms the Bangladesh mission expects to sign with Bahrain shortly.

Officials at the embassy met Bahrain government's representatives on May 8 to discuss the Mou. They are yet to have a response from the Bahraini authorities.

Saiful said the ban would tear many Bangladeshi families apart, as in many cases visas of children and their parents were not processed at a time, the Bahraini daily reported.

He also said many others, who sold their possessions and also took loans to collect Bahraini dinar 1, 500 to come to this country, are worried they would not be able even to earn that amount before their visas expire within two years.

"Some earn only 40 dinars a month, and spend 20 dinars on food, 5 on phone calls, 5 on transport and send 10 dinars to their family members in Bangladesh," Saiful was quoted as saying.

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