Published: January 17, 2023 20:24:39 | Updated: January 17, 2023 21:14:53
Donald Lu praised RAB but not hinted at lifting sanctions: US Embassy
While praising the RAB for reducing extrajudicial killings, US Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lew did not indicate any time frame for lifting the ban on this force, the US Embassy said.
Jeff Ridenauer, the spokesperson of the United States Embassy in Bangladesh, said this on Tuesday in response to questions from journalists in the context of a speech by the Minister of Interior. News from bdnews24.com.
He said, "Assistant Foreign Minister Lu praised the Bangladesh government for reducing the number of extrajudicial killings and disappearances by RAB last year. We commend the Government of Bangladesh's initiative in these ongoing reforms and encourage the Government of Bangladesh to conduct an impartial investigation into allegations of extrajudicial killings.
"Assistant Foreign Minister Lu did not give any indication in the Dhaka meetings about the deadline for lifting the ban on RAB."
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Affairs Lu held several meetings in Dhaka on Saturday afternoon and returned at midnight on Sunday.
He held a bilateral meeting with the Foreign Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday. Lu also held separate meetings with Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, Law Minister Anisul Haque, Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman, and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam.
The US State Department official held a meeting with labor leaders as well as civil society representatives. It was also informed in the joint briefing of Foreign Minister and Secretary of State with Donald Lu that the ban on RAB will be discussed in government-level meetings.
In December 2021, the United States imposed sanctions on the RAB and seven of its former and current officials, alleging serious human rights violations.
After that, the government of Bangladesh requested to withdraw the ban on several occasions, but the United States did not respond. The US has always said that the process of lifting the sanctions is quite 'complicated'.
Home Minister Kamal expressed hope that the ban on RAB will be lifted soon after meeting reporters at the Secretariat on Monday, the day after the meeting with Donald Lu.
He said, "They (US delegation) said, the way you are going, you are going in the right direction. The way you are going, keep it going, your career is playing a good role.
"We think the ban may be lifted soon. We hope it will be over soon."
After the meeting on Sunday, the Home Minister said, "They said, 'It is a complicated process in our country.' It may take some time, the process you are advancing, working on, I think it will be cleared in future, they hinted.
However, when asked if the US has given any time frame for lifting the ban, the home minister said, "They have not given any timeframe."