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Bangladesh protests US sanctions on anti-crime elite force officials

Agencies
DHAKA
Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen Saturday summoned U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R. Miller to protest against sanctions imposed by Washington on officials of the country’s anti-crime elite force Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).
The U.S. Department of Treasury and the Department of State reportedly on Friday slapped the sanctions on seven former and incumbent RAB officials and RAB itself as an entity, allegedly over serious human rights abuses.
The foreign secretary expressed Bangladesh’s disappointment that the decision was taken unilaterally by the U.S. administration without any prior consultation with the government of Bangladesh, said a foreign ministry statement Saturday.
He said the issues cited for imposing the sanctions remained under active discussions, including under the framework of the regular institutional dialogues between the two sides, and that yet the American decision came without any prior intimation.
Momen emphasised that the Bangladeshi government remained committed to upholding the rule of law and human rights and maintained a “zero tolerance” approach to any wrongdoings or aberrations by its law enforcement agencies.
He underscored the need for pursuing the pathway of dialogue, engagement and collaboration, instead of resorting to “naming and shaming” that has proven to be a self-defeating exercise.
For his part, Miller expressed the willingness of the U.S. government to remain closely engaged with Bangladesh on issues of mutual interest.

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