French aid worker still held in Bangladesh
PARIS – A French NGO worker detained in Bangladesh has been kept in custody despite a court verdict which ordered his release on Tuesday.
Puemo Tchantchuing, who prefers to be known as Moussa Ibn Yacoub, was arrested on Dec. 22 in Bangladesh and was accused of “suspicious activities” and the use of a false identity as the name he uses is not that printed on his passport and identity card.
These charges were punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.
Tchantchuing, an aid worker at the French humanitarian organization BarakaCity was working with the Muslim Rohingya minority who have fled persecution in Myanamr. He had been stopped at a checkpoint while going to schools and orphanages in the south of the country where the Rohingya camps are situated.
A court in Bangladesh ordered the release of the 28-year-old on Tuesday. However, the court decision was “cancelled” on Wednesday and Tchantchuing was kept in custody.
In a statement, BarakaCity said: “We learned that the judge who allowed his [Tchantchuing ] release has been replaced, and that the receipt has been crossed out by hand.”
“Our lawyer tells us that only the Ministry of Bangladeshi Justice could have the power to counter this decision validated by the judge and revoked by the president of the court.”
Samim Bolaky, one of Tchantchuing’s lawyers, wrote on his Facebook page: “We are shocked… stunned by this judicial farce! The detention of Moussa – today – became a matter of state.”
The French Foreign Ministry said in a statement that “the decision issued on 11 Jan. by the Bangladeshi court did not address all, but only a part of, the charges against our compatriot.”
“A second decision is awaited.”
“We remain mobilized to ensure consular protection of our compatriot and ensure respect of his rights,” it added.
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Source: News fulton county
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