Six Bangladeshi workers sentenced to death in the United Arab Emirates three years ago have returned home after Dhaka government paid blood money to secure their release, a lawmaker said on Sunday.
The six were sentenced to death in Dubai after they killed a Pakistani man during a quarrel in 2007, said Mainuddin Khan Badal, a member of Bangladesh parliament who pursued the case for years.
"Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ordered the labour ministry to pay the entire 9.57 million taka (138,195 dollars) as blood money to the relatives of the Pakistani man in exchange for freedom of our workers," Badal told AFP.
The payment of blood money, in which a homicide victim's family accepts payment from the killers in return for waiving their right to seek the death penalty, is widely practised in many Arab countries.
The Bangladeshi workers' death sentences were commuted to three-year jail terms after blood money was paid, Badal said.
The workers returned to Bangladesh last month without any fanfare and with the government making no statement on the issue.
Badal, an influential lawmaker allied to the government, said this was the first time Bangladesh had paid blood money to secure its workers' release.
Nearly four million Bangladeshis work in countries in the Gulf, mostly as labourers in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.