Government Policy

It can’t be resolved overnight, says FM Momen on US sanctions

The issue of designated sanctions imposed on the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and some of the present and former officials cannot be resolved overnight as it will be done step by step, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said on Friday.

All the offices in the US are now closed due to the Christmas holidays, he said.

“I hope the US will realise that its position on RAB is not correct. However, I don’t expect things to change overnight,” Momen said while talking to the media after addressing a programme in Kalighat, Sylhet in the evening.

The way they labelled the accusations against RAB, which is loved and trusted by people in Bangladesh, is very unfortunate, he said.

The agency is, by and large, not involved in corruption, he continued, adding that RAB is an “effective agency.”

Even the US government said RAB helped curb terrorism, drug trafficking, and human trafficking in Bangladesh that were considered to be shared priorities with successive US administrations, Dr Momen mentioned.

A few RAB members who abused their authority and committed excesses were brought to justice, he said.

When police kill someone in Bangladesh, it is called “extrajudicial killing” but when law enforcers do it in the US they term it dying “in the line of duty” and no head of the agency is punished, the minister said.

The US said 600 people disappeared from their homes in Bangladesh in the last 10 years, he added.

“However, every year 1 lakh people go missing in the USA, according to its official estimate. So, this is not a big deal there. But if the same thing happens in Bangladesh, they call it enforced disappearance,” Momen said.

The US imposed human rights-related sanctions on individuals and RAB as an entity on the occasion of International Human Rights Day.

Source: United News of Bangladesh