Bangladesh Police Free Detained Foreign Aid Workers

By Reuters 26 February 2018

DHAKA — The Bangladesh police authority has freed all the foreign aid workers who had been detained near the city of Cox’s Bazar after failing to show their passports, visas or work permits, a senior police official said on Saturday.

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the elite force of the Bangladesh police, had on Friday detained 11 aid workers with a number of different non-government organizations (NGOs) and handed them over to local police.

Mohammad Abul Khair, officer in charge of the police station in the Ukhiya sub-district, near Cox’s Bazar, said two of the aid workers were from the United Kingdom, two were from Italy, and one each were from Turkey, the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Brazil, Korea and Kenya.

“All of them were going to a refugees’ camp from Cox’s Bazar by their own vehicles, but they could not produce their passport, visa or work permit,” Khair told Reuters.

“All of them were freed later after their written undertaking that in future they will not visit any camp or will not come out without a valid passport or visa,” Khair added.

Nearly 700,000 Rohingyas have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine State and crossed into Bangladesh since August, when attacks on security posts by insurgents triggered a military crackdown that the United Nations has said amounts to ethnic cleansing.