Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Bangladesh asks US to reconsider sanctions against its top law enforcement officials

Bangladesh has requested the United States to reconsider the sanctions imposed against the officials of its elite law enforcement agency Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)

 

Bangladesh asks US to reconsider sanctions against its top law enforcement officials

The government of Bangladesh has requested the United States to reconsider the sanctions imposed against the officials of its elite law enforcement agency Rapid Action Battalion (RAB). Briefing media in Sylhet on Sunday, the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. A K Abdul Momen said that the US allegations against the RAB are baseless, reports the official news agency BSS.

Comparing cases of ‘disappeared people’ in US and Bangladesh, he said that in the last 10 years about 600 people have reportedly ‘gone missing’ in Bangladesh while more than 1 lakh people are ‘getting disappeared’  in US every year and more than 1000 are being killed by the police. However, no one raises questions against the US on this issue as these incidents are termed to have happened in the ‘line of duty’, said Dr. Momen. He said small things happening in Bangladesh are called ‘extra judicial’ killing and there is scope for reconsidering it.

Defending the actions of RAB, the Foreign Minister said that it has shown success in combating drug, terrorism, and militancy in Bangladesh. Dr. Momen said that in his letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken he has given details of the initiatives and activities of the Bangladesh government in preventing terrorism and inter-state crimes.

Earlier, on December 10 US had imposed sanctions on six officials of RAB including the incumbent Director-General Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun and former DG Benazir Ahmed, and other senior officials for ‘engaging in serious human rights abuse’ relating to their tenure. The US treasury department cited allegations by NGOs that RAB and other Bangladeshi law enforcement agencies are responsible for more than 600 disappearances since 2009, 600 extrajudicial killings since 2018, and torture. The US government statement had said that some reports suggest that these incidents target opposition party members, journalists, and human rights activists in Bangladesh.

 

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