POST TIME: 20 June, 2018 00:00 00 AM
transfer of prisoners
Govt to ink deal with Maldives

Govt to ink deal 
with Maldives

The government is going to ink an agreement with the Maldives on the transfer of convicted prisoners to bring them home. The authorities concerned have prepared a draft of the ‘Agreement between the government of the Bangladesh and Maldives on the transfer of prisoners’, which is currently under scrutiny by the home and foreign affair ministriess, according to sources. The final agreement would be signed by the officials of both governments and it would come into effect immediately, the sources added.

Talking to The Independent, a senior official of the foreign affairs ministry said they have already received opinions from the ministries concerned on the agreement after receiving a draft from the Maldives government. “We will finalise the draft agreement soon after holding meetings with the high-ups,” he added.

The official also said some Bangladeshis, who had gone to the Maldives for work, are now in jail in that country on various charges. “We will bring them back to the country under the proposed agreement and bring them to justice,” he added.

According to Article 1 of the draft agreement, a prisoner is a person who is for the time being detained in a prison, a hospital or any other institution by the virtue of an order of conviction of a criminal offence by a competent court or a tribunal of the transferring state, in the course of the exercise of its criminal jurisdiction. “A person sentenced in the

territory of one party may be transferred to the territory of the other in accordance with the provisions of this agreement in order to serve the sentence imposed on him/her,” says Article 2 of the draft agreement.

 Article 3 of the draft agreement states: “A prisoner may be transferred under this agreement only on condition 1) the prisoner is a national of the receiving state, 2) the judgment is final or the prisoner has waived any rights of appeal, 3) at the time of receipt of the request for transfer, the prisoner still has at least six months of the sentence to serve or the sentence is indeterminate.”

 “The prisoner shall be informed, in writing, of any action taken by the transferring state or the receiving state under the preceding paragraphs as well as of any decision taken by either state on a request for transfer,” Article 4 of the draft agreement says.

 “If a transfer is requested, the transferring state shall provide the documents like a certificate copy of the judgment, a statement indicating how much of the sentence has already been served, a declaration containing the consent to the transfer and medical and social reports on the prisoner, information about treatment of the prisoner in the transferring state and any recommendation for his/her further treatment in the receiving state,” states Article 6 of the agreement.

 Article 11 of the draft agreement mentions: “Either party may grant amnesty or commutation of sentence in accordance with its constitution or other laws. The prisoner shall be entitled to the benefit of any remission of sentence of imprisonment which he/she may have become entitled to on the date of his/her transfer in the transferring country.”

 “If either party enters into arrangements for the transfer of prisoners with any third state, the other party shall cooperate in facilitation [of] that transit through its territory of prisoners being transferred pursuant to such arrangement. The party intending to make such a transfer will give advance notice to the other party of such transit,” says Article 15 of the proposed agreement.

Sources said around 1,30,000 migrant workers, including 60,000 undocumented workers, most of them Bangladeshis, work in the Maldives. According to the Maldivian foreign ministry, some 50,000 Bangladeshi are now working in the Maldives.