The British government is offering assistance to a Sheffield community leader imprisoned in Bangladesh - but is limited in what it can do to help him, MP Clive Betts has said.
The Sheffield South East MP said he has been liaising with the Foreign Office about the recent arrest of Mojid Khan, from Darnall, and two other British men in the country in connection with a luxury hotel they had invested in.
But he said while he understood the concerns of Mr Khan’s family about his safety in prison, the British government was restricted in what it can do about legal proceedings taking place abroad.
Mr Betts said: “We are dealing with another country and another government and legal system.
“Neither I nor Foreign Office officials can get themselves involved in the legal proceedings over there. All they can do is offer support to British nationals and ensure they have got proper legal representation.
“We have been in touch with the Foreign Office. They went to see him to ensure his rights are being upheld and they will go back to see him in due course.
“That is about as much as we can do.”
Mr Khan and the two other British men, who have not been named, were arrested on April 27. His family say they understand he has subsequently been charged with extortion and car fraud.
They said Mr Khan, who is chairman of Sheffield Bangladesh Citizens’ Neighbourhood Welfare Project and owner of Sunrise Foods wholesalers on Staniforth Road, was among 120 British Bangladeshis who invested in the building of the Dhaka Regency Hotel in Bangladesh.
Mr Khan’s family have raised concerns about the prospect of him being tortured while in prison, with Amnesty International warning torture in Bangladesh is “extremely widespread”.
Mr Betts said he was not aware of any reports that Mr Khan had been subjected to ill-treatment. He said he will continue to liaise with the Foreign Office.