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114 Bangladeshi nationals return from Libya

A total of 114 Bangladesh nationals returned home from Libya on Thursday with the help of International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

A special flight of Buraq Air carrying the returnees arrived at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 8:15am, said Zia, additional superintendent (Media) of the Airport Armed Police Battalion (APBn), reports UNB.

Every returnee was provided food and a financial assistance of Tk 4,750 by IOM.

These Bangladeshis went to Dubai, Oman and Malaysia on ‘visit visas’ from Bangladesh last year. From there, they went to Libya by paying brokers up to Tk 11-15 lakh each.

But they were detained by Libyan law enforcers in Tripoli. And some of them even served up to nine months in jail. Later, the United Nations migration agency facilitated their return to Bangladesh.

IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return Programme can be life-saving for migrants stranded or in detention, especially in conflict-ridden countries.

Since 2015, a total of 2,942 Bangladeshi migrants have returned from Libya through the programme, which is a part of the larger EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.

The programme facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused policies and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration.

The necessity of the programme was magnified in 2020, when 30 migrants — including 26 Bangladeshis — were shot and killed at a smuggling warehouse in the Libyan town of Mizdah.