Bangladeshi diplomat in US freed

Bangladesh’s deputy consul general in New York was released from jail on Tuesday, a day after a US court indicted him on charges of labour trafficking and assault for forcing his servant to work without pay through threats and intimidation.

“Mr. Shahedul Islam, Deputy Consul General at the Consulate General of Bangladesh in New York has been released at 8:20pm (Eastern Time)   today (13 June, 2017) from Vermon C Bain Correctional Center, Bronx, New York,” Shameem Ahsan, consul general at the Consulate General of Bangladesh in New York, told The Daily Star this morning.

“This follows sincere effort by the Embassy of Bangladesh in Washington DC and Consulate General in New York under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dhaka to release him at the earliest since the Officer was arrested on 12 June, 2017 by the local authorities following the allegation by his former domestic aide,” Shameem Ahsan also said.

Mohammed Shahedul Islam has limited diplomatic immunity and was ordered to surrender his passport when he appeared before Queens Supreme Court Justice Daniel Lewis, said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown in a statement.

The bail was set at $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, reports Reuters.

Meanwhile, Dhaka yesterday expressed serious dissatisfaction over the detention of Shahedul. The foreign ministry summoned the acting US envoy and sought an explanation.

According to the indictment, Shahedul brought another Bangladeshi, Mohammed Amin, to New York between 2012 and 2013 to work as a household help for Islam and his family.

“Soon after Mr Amin’s arrival, the defendant allegedly took his passport and required the man to work 18 hours a day … Even though Amin had a contract which outlines his compensation, it is alleged he was never paid for his work,” the statement said.

“If the victim disobeyed the defendant’s orders, Amin was allegedly physically assaulted by the defendant, who either struck him with his hand or sometimes with a wooden shoe,” it added.

Shahedul is a political appointee.

Source: The Daily Star


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