DEFEXPO 2022 INDIA Ministry of Defence

 

Bangladesh's Hasina blames some Bangladeshis behind US sanctions on the security forces

While defending the contribution of the RAB, Hasina alleged that people with “vested interests,” who live a good life here [Bangladesh], went to the US and filed complaints there with the Justice Department

Mar 31, 2022
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Bangladesh's Hasina blames some Bangladeshis behind US sanctions on the security forces

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina blamed “a section of Bangladeshis” with vested interests behind the last year's US decision of sanctioning top officials of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the country’s elite paramilitary force for its alleged "grave human rights violations."

Formed in 2004 to tackle growing challenges like domestic terrorism, drug trafficking, organized crimes, over the years, the RAB came under heavy scrutiny from rights activists for misusing its authority. In December last year, the Biden administration sanctioned the RAB and six of its current and former officials. [Read More]

"There is nothing to say if people defame their own country abroad…the sanctions on the RAB came as a group of domestic people applied efforts on it,” Hasina was quoted as saying by The Daily Star in Parliament.

While defending the contribution of the RAB, Hasina alleged that people with “vested interests,” who live a good life here [Bangladesh], went to the US and filed complaints there with the Justice Department. Unable to see the good works, they (critics) always spread propaganda against their own country, she added.

Sanctions were also unilateral, she said, arguing the officials from the Bangladeshi Embassy in the US were not allowed to attend meetings. Significantly, Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momin had made similar claims of not being consulted before the punitive actions.

Speaking in Parliament, Hasina, however, admitted instances of misusing the RAB but blamed it on the previous government led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). “There is no doubt that BNP has used RAB arbitrarily,” she said.

Significantly, Dhaka has been pursuing the issue, and in fact withdrawal of the sanctions, through different mechanisms with the US.

On 20 March, during the visit of US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, Foreign Minister Momin sought the rollback of sanctions, detailing the efforts to address the complaints. He also mentioned that there have been no deaths in the last three months.

Earlier, Momin called the US logic of sanctions “funny”, saying his country was sanctioned for 400 deaths in ten years, while the US continued to have 1000 deaths in police actions every year. [Read More]

(SAM)

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