Bangladesh mulls hiring lawyer to overturn US sanctions on RAB

The government is thinking about appointing a lawyer in the United States to overturn the sanctions on the Rapid Action Battalion and seven of its top current and former officials.

Published : 14 Feb 2022, 04:25 PM
Updated : 14 Feb 2022, 04:25 PM

The foreign ministry told a parliamentary standing committee on Monday that the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington was working to that end.

The ministry cited an information vacuum created amid the coronavirus pandemic after the committee asked why the embassy failed to know about the sanctions beforehand  and take steps before the US announced the measure, said committee Chairman Muhammad Faruk Khan.

The committee had previously suggested hiring lobbyists and the ministry already started working on it, he said.

“They [ministry] have talked about the appointment of PR firms and lawyers. We’ve asked them to do whatever is necessary. They can seek more funds if needed.”

The US imposed the sanctions in December citing “serious human rights violation” by the force. The officials who faced the sanctions include Benazir Ahmed, a former head of the RAB and current inspector general of police.

The foreign ministry summoned Earl Miller, the US ambassador in Dhaka, to react to the sanctions. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen wrote to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging him to lift the sanctions.