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US sanctions against RAB will stay: State Department

Diplomatic Correspondent, dhakadiplomat.com
  17 May 2024, 20:34
File Photo

The United States has said the sanctions imposed against Bangladesh's elite force RAB are not being withdrawn.

"Those claims are false. The U.S. is not withdrawing sanctions against the RAB," said Principal Deputy Spokesperson at the US Department of State Vedant Patel.

In a regular briefing at the US Department of State, he said sanctions are intended to change "behaviour and promote accountability".

Nobody from the government of Bangladesh claimed that the US is withdrawing the sanctions.

"The issue is with the US Department of Justice which is independent and separate from the White House and the State Department. They work independently," PM's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman told reporters earlier on Tuesday night in Dhaka.

Salman said the White House and the US Department of State are in favour of lifting sanctions on the RAB but it depends on the Department of Justice.o

"The issue is moving through a process," Salman said after his discussion over dinner with US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu who on a three-day visit here last week.

In January 2023, Donald Lu appreciated the “tremendous progress” made by Rab in “respecting human rights” while performing its duties.
“We had quite a good discussion about the Rab. If you have seen the statement this week by the Human Rights Watch, they recognised and we recognised tremendous progress in the area of reducing extra judicial killings by the Rab,” he told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at that time.

“This is amazing work. It shows that Rab is able to carry out its important counterterrorism and law enforcement function while respecting human rights,” Lu added.

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