Pakistan Red Crescent Society facilitates repatriation of 25 Bangladeshi detainees

Karachi: The Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has facilitated the voluntary repatriation of 25 Bangladeshis detained in Karachi’s jails.

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The detainees were charged under the Foreigners Act and had already completed their sentences. The PRCS, on the request of Sindh Home Department through Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad, arranged the repatriation of the men to their home country under its Restoring Family Links (RFL) programme.

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The International Organisation of Migration (IOM), on the request of PRCS, extended financial assistance by arranging air tickets and repatriation support, which includes $250 in cash each, non-food item kits, COVID-19 tests and transportation and accommodation support in Bangladesh for the 16 detainees out of 25. Later, the Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Karachi arranged air tickets for the remaining nine detainees.

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The PRCS organised a farewell ceremony for the Bangladeshi detainees at the District Jail, Malir of Karachi.

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PRCS Chairman Abrar ul Haq said the RFL is a key programme under which the Society endeavours to restore contacts between family members on humanitarian grounds.

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He said the PRCS is in a unique position to undertake such initiatives due to its extensive reach as well as potential to assist people who are separated from their families.

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Shahnaz S. Hamid, Chairperson, PRCS Sindh Branch, commended the officials for exploring and highlighting this important issue. She thanked the Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Karachi for assisting in arranging visas and providing air tickets for repatriation of the nine detainees.

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Hamid said that the PRCS gifted a travel kit each to the 25 released persons as a token of friendship. In addition, 200 blankets have been handed over to Malir Jail of Karachi for the prisoners.

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She said that during the first wave of COVID-19, the PRCS with the support of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) had distributed a large number of coronavirus prevention items, including masks, sanitisers and hygiene kits to more than 19,000 inmates in 29 jails in Sindh.

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