“Sir, please help me. I do not want to die here. If I die here, my body will remain in a mortuary fridge as an unknown body.”
Mohammad Ibrahim (25), who went to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah but failed to return home in time after he fell sick and became an illegal immigrant there, sent this message to the Facebook page of Bangladesh Police.
The Media and Public Relations Wing of Police Headquarters (PHQ), that runs the social media account, intervened. Officials of the wing communicated with the Bangladesh Embassy in Saudi Arabia there through a foreign ministry official, personally known to an officer of the media wing.
Finally, the embassy arranged legal documents for Ibrahim who flew back home in a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight on April 9 after about an year of nightmarish life in Saudi Arabia.
“Ibrahim was severely sick for a long time, but could not even go to hospital for treatment due to lack of money and legal documents. He even could not return to the country. So, he wanted the cooperation from us to bring him back to the country,” Assistant Inspector General (Media) of the PHQ Sohel Rana told The Daily Star last night.
He said immediately after they saw Ibrahim’s message, they contacted him at his home address in Teknaf of Cox’s Bazar through the local police station.
His family and locals said he went to Saudi Arabia to perform the holy Umrah. After performing Umrah, he fell ill and was forced to stay over there, AIG Rana said.
At one point, his travel document’s validity expired. Despite being ill, he was in hiding, as he could not move anywhere due to lack of valid documents, he added.
“At one point, he became seriously ill and gave up hope of survival. He was ill for more than a year,” AIG Rana said quoting Ibrahim and his relatives.
At that moment, on someone’s suggestion, he sent a message to the Bangladesh Police Facebook page, seeking cooperation.
Sohel Rana said though it is not a police job, they stood by him for humanitarian reasons after they confirmed his illness and helplessness.
The PHQ did not disclose further details about Ibrahim.