Sohag Ibrahim and Islam Shariful, two out of the eight Bangladeshi who were detained in  26 April 2016, had their Order of Detention (OD)s cancelled by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

MHA states that the two have been repatriated to Bangladesh in September 2016 after investigations were completed on them with no charges upon them.

The MHA had earlier alleged via a press release on 3 May this year that Sohag, Islam and other six Bangladeshi workers were members of a secret group set up by Rahman Mizanur in March 2016 called Islamic State in Bangladesh (ISB) and issued ODs on the eight under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

MHA alleged that the members had intended to join ISIS as foreign fighters, but as they felt it would be difficult for them to travel to Syria, focused their plans instead on returning home to overthrow the government through the use of force.

However, MHA subsequently changed its story on 27 May to claim that six of the eight detained Bangladeshi workers to be involved in financing terrorism under the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act (TSOFA).

MHA claimed that Rahman was a ringleader. Mamun was the group’s deputy leader. Zzaman was in the group’s security council. Miah and Jabath were the group’s treasurers.

The six detainees who were charged under the TSOFA for money laundering are, Rahman Mizanur, Miah Rubel, Md Jabath Kysar Haje Norul Islam Sowdagar, Sohel Hawlader Ismail Hawlader, Mamun Leakot Ali, and ZZaman Daulat.

Four of the six, pleaded guilty when they were being charged. Rahman, 31, was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment; Miah, 26, and Jabath, 31, were sentenced to 30 months imprisonment; and Sohel, 29, were sentenced 24 months imprisonment on 12 July. It is unknown how much money was involved in the alleged financing.

At that time, Mamun, 29 and Zzaman, 34 denied the charges and claimed retrial. Mamum is accused of contributing $500 and collecting funds of $300 for terrorist acts. However, he previously denied contributing money to a clandestine group, Islamic State in Bangladesh (ISB), set up by Rahman in March 2016. However, the two pleaded guilty on 30 August. Mamun was sentenced 2 1/2 years, while Zzaman Daulat was given two years imprisonment. It is unknown if they were represented by lawyers in court against the charges that they face.

As MHA deported the two Bangladeshi workers without any charges, it would appear that MHA was unable to find any trace of evidence on Sohag and Islam for terrorism or financing of terrorism like the other six workers. But if so, why are the two repatriated out of Singapore despite not committing any offences that can be proven?

 

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