By Hidir Reduan Abdul Rashid | Malaysiakini

Bangladeshi opposition politician MA Quayum contended that his life and safety would be at risk if he is deported to his homeland.

The refugee made the contention in his affidavit in support of a civil court action to obtain a prohibition order against the Home Minister and two others from deporting him.

Quayum has a separate habeas corpus application — set for hearing on July 3 before the criminal High Court in Kuala Lumpur — to challenge his alleged unlawful detention by immigration authorities. He has, however, been temporarily released by the Malaysian authorities.

“I wish to stress here that if I am sent back to Bangladesh, my life and safety would be gravely jeopardised, because I am one of the leaders of the opposition party BNP (Bangladeshi Nationalist Party), especially in the context of the chaotic (bergelojak) politics in Bangladesh at this time.

“I verily state that from 1981 until now, the political oppression (penganiayaan politik) against politicians from the opposition party has been ongoing.

“Especially from 2008 until now, when the Awami League Party (AL) became the government of Bangladesh, many politicians and activists who oppose the AL government were arrested and disappeared (enforced disappearance),” Quayum said in the affidavit sighted by Malaysiakini.

In the court filing, Quayum claimed that the Bangladeshi administration’s political oppression against him began when he first ran in the 2008 general election, with 60 cases filed by the AL government against him, as of this year.

He said since late 2008, to bring down BNP and himself as an opposition leader, the AL government not only filed politically motivated cases against him but had also through the enforcement authorities constantly harassed his family.

“There had been many times when the enforcement authorities carried a raid at my home, and my family and I were forced to flee the house at midnight.

“I verily state that when the AL government took steps to silence voices opposing the administration, I found that I came within their crosshairs.

“In light of the AL government’s constant and increasingly aggressive political oppression, I was forced to leave my homeland in early 2015 for my as well as my family’s safety,” Quayum lamented.

Judicial review leave bid hearing postponed

When contacted by Malaysiakini, his counsel Edmund Bon said that the judicial review leave application, initially fixed for hearing before the Kuala Lumpur High Court tomorrow, has been vacated to another date.

Quayum has been a refugee in Malaysia since 2015 under the Malaysia My Second Home programme.

Edmund Bon

However, on Jan 12, he was apprehended in a joint operation conducted by the Malaysian police and the National Security Intelligence of Bangladesh at his residence in Ampang.

Human rights organisation SUARAM previously alleged that Quayum’s detention request was part of a systematic crackdown by the Bangladeshi government against political opposition.

Copies of the present judicial review have been served on the minister and the other two respondents, namely the immigration Director General and the Malaysian government.