Bahrain lifts ban on work permits
Friday, 25 July 2008

Seeks assurance over Bangladeshi workers

Staff Correspondent

Bahrain has lifted a ban on issuing work permits for Bangladeshi workers on the condition that they must abide by the country's laws, the overseas employment secretary said Wednesday.

The Middle Eastern kingdom slapped a ban on work permits for unskilled Bangladeshi workers on May 26, following the killing of Baharaini citizen Mohammed Jassim Dossary by a Bangladeshi mechanic.
Another Bangladeshi worker, Mizan Noor Al Rahman Ayoub Miyah was executed by firing squad on June 6, after being convicted of murdering Bahraini fashion designer Sana Al Jalahama in 2006.
Dossary's murder angered Bahraini lawmakers who urged the government to expel all Bangladeshis from Bahrain. But the Gulf state stopped short of expulsions, and instead issued a ban on work permits for all unskilled Bangladeshi workers.
Reports were published from the Bahraini capital Manama on Tuesday that after almost two months, the government is lifting the ban on unskilled workers from Bangladesh.
"We have come to know that Bahrain has lifted the ban on work permits for Bangladeshi workers," Abdul Matin Chowdhury, secretary to the ministry of expatriates' welfare and overseas employment, told Wednesday.
"According to the new conditions, Bangladeshis seeking work permits will have to submit a certificate issued by the Bangladeshi authorities assuring that they will abide by Bahraini laws," said the secretary.
Foreign affairs adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury apologised to the Bahraini minister for foreign affairs soon after Dossary's killing.
But, the adviser said: "The whole nation should not be punished for one crime."
Iftekhar also urged all Bangladeshis living in the Middle East to obey local laws for mutual benefit.
There are 86 thousand Bangladeshis living in Bahrain, according to the ministry of expatriates' welfare and overseas employment.

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