Bangladesh migrant workers protest outside foreign ministry over return to Qatar

Hundreds of disgruntled Bangladeshi migrants who work in Qatar have gathered outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, demanding urgent action from the government to facilitate their return to the Middle-Eastern country.

They began the demonstrations, carrying the photographs of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, around 10 am on Tuesday.

Around 12,000 returnees from Qatar are facing difficulties returning to their workplaces as their online applications for re-entry permits have been rejected or are being processed for an unduly long time. The validity of 95 percent workers’ ‘iqama’ (residency permit) has also expired, according to the protesters.

“I returned to the country 10 months ago. I will lose my job in Qatar if I can’t return within February. I have submitted my documents to the foreign ministry twice for a re-entry visa, but they are not issuing my visa,” Abdul Karim, one of the protesters, told bdnews24.com.

Their return to the kingdom is getting delayed due to negligence of the Bangladesh Embassy in Qatar as well, according to another expatriate, Hafizur Rahman.

'The authorities are trying to address issues with the embassy and the factory owners to solve the problem," Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen said.