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The Daily Ittefaq

US sanctions will remain in effect until accountability and reform are ensured: US Ambassador

Update : 29 Sep 2022, 14:04

The sanctions imposed by the US against the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and seven of its officials will remain in effect until accountability and reform are ensured, said US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas said on 29 September.        

Peter Haas was speaking at the event titled "Meet the ambassador" organised by the Centre for Governance Studies and German think tank Friedrich Ebert Stiftung at a city hotel.              

"The sanctions are not intended to punish but to change behaviour and hold them accountable", he said regarding a question whether the sanction would still be applicable for the outgoing Inspector General of Bangladesh Police Benazir Ahmed, who served as the head of RAB prior to his role as police chief.    

However, he said, the number of extrajudicial killings has significantly changed since the sanctions imposed in December last year.                               

"This is a very good signal," Haas said.

Speaking about the recent political violence in Bangladesh, he also said that a free, fair election cannot be held if there is violence.       

He said that the US wants a free and fair election with international standards and does not favour any political parties.                     

The US diplomat spoke of various aspects of the US-Bangladesh relationship including trade, labour rights, regional and global politics, and Indo-Pacific strategy among other things. 

Haas also said Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in terms of workplace safety in the export-oriented industries but the US still has concerns.

"Now, the US wants Bangladesh to allow the workers to have trade unions and the right to mobilise and bargaining for their rights", he added.

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