By Hidir Reduan Abdul Rashid | Malaysiakini

A former Bangladeshi diplomat succeeded in obtaining an interim court order against his deportation to his homeland where he allegedly faces persecution.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court this morning allowed the interim stay application by Mohamed Khairuzzaman’s lawyers, pending disposal of a habeas corpus application to challenge the validity of his detention by Malaysian authorities.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan allowed the interim stay application, following the detainee’s lawyer Edmund Bon saying there is a risk of his client being deported at any time.

The lawyer said the interim stay is necessary to prevent Mohamed’s deportation pending the hearing of the habeas corpus application on May 20.

“In the interim, I grant the interim stay, pending disposal of the stay and habeas corpus application,” Zaini said.

Mohamed was not in court and is understood to be under immigration detention at the moment.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Wong Siew Mun appeared for the three respondents in the habeas corpus application, namely the Home Minister, the Immigration Director-General, and the federal government.

Lawyer Chan Yen Hui held a watching brief today for refugee rights group Asylum Access Malaysia.

On Feb 9, the former Bangladeshi diplomat who has been living in Malaysia as a refugee for the past decade was nabbed by the police in Ampang.

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) has raised concern he could be expelled from the country and face persecution back home.

“The police arrested Mohamed Khairuzzaman, former Bangladesh ambassador to Malaysia and a recognised United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) refugee, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

“He’s at imminent risk of deportation to Bangladesh, where he’s likely to face persecution,” said FIDH’s director of Asia Desk on Twitter on Feb 9.

Acquitted in killing case

It was reported by Dhaka-based daily New Age that Mohamed “was an accused in a case involving the killing of national leaders Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed, Mansur Ali, and AHM Quamruzzaman in Dhaka Central Jail on Nov 3, 1975”.

The 70-year-old was later acquitted by the Bangladeshi court in 2004.

He was appointed as a diplomat to Myanmar in 2005 and two years later he was made the ambassador to Malaysia.

After being instructed by the Awami League party, which came to power in 2009, to return home in the same year, Mohamed continued to live in Malaysia as a refugee under the UNHCR mechanisms, according to the report.

The Awami League again returned to power after the December 2018 general election.

Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin had claimed that Mohamed’s detention was in accordance with the law.