Sat, 02 Dec 2023

Visa restrictions: U.S. takes a stand for democracy in Bangladesh

Khalid Umar Malik
24 Sep 2023, 01:16 GMT+10

WASHINGTON DC, USA - The U.S. Department of State announced that it is taking steps to impose visa restrictions on Bangladeshi individuals who are responsible for, or complicit in, undermining Bangladesh's democratic election process.

According to a statement issued by the U.S. State Department on Friday, these individuals include members of law enforcement, the ruling party, and the political opposition.

It did not, however, reveal the names of those people.

"The United States is committed to assisting Bangladesh in peacefully holding free and fair elections."

"These persons and members of their immediate family may be found ineligible for visas to the United States."

"Additional individuals found to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh may be found ineligible for U.S. visas in the future under this policy." This includes current and former Bangladeshi officials, members of the opposition and ruling political parties, as well as members of law enforcement, the judiciary, and security services.

"Our actions today reflect the United States' continued commitment to supporting Bangladesh's goal of peacefully holding free and fair national elections, as well as those seeking to advance democracy globally," according to the statement.

On May 24, the United States announced that it would be able to restrict visa issuance for any Bangladeshi individual suspected of undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh.

Current and former Bangladeshi officials, members of pro-government and opposition political parties, and members of law enforcement, the judiciary, and security services are all included.

On May 3, the United States notified the Bangladeshi government of its decision.

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