US sanction on RAB is one-sided, politically-motivated: Quader

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Dhaka, Dec 12: Awami League (AL) General Secretary Obaidul Quader today said US sanction on some incumbent and ex-officials of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) are one-sided and politically-motivated.

“We’re shocked and saddened because of such decision of the United States as it has come at a time when Bangladesh is celebrating the golden jubilee of its independence,” said Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister.

He said this decision of the United States would provoke militancy and terrorism in the country, he added.

Lauding the role of the RAB in curbing crimes in the country, Quader said RAB is working as an elite force with utmost professionalism in uprooting the militancy from the country.

He said none of this force is above the law. At least seven members of RAB were sentenced to death in the Narayanganj murder incident.

“If there is any allegation, the force itself or the ministry concerned is taking action after holding proper investigation,” he added.

He went on saying that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is active and playing an independent role in carrying out any investigation, but it is unreasonable to impose sanctions by identifying the chiefs and former security officers of a force.

Under the purview of human rights, such decision is a kind of ‘human rights violation’, the minister added.

“Where ordinary people in the US came down to the streets of different cities to protest extrajudicial killings, such statements (of US) for other country on the human rights situation is not acceptable,” he said.

The minister suspected that ill political motive of vested quarters including anti-Bangladesh people or evil forces is deeply involved in taking this decision.

AL General Secretary requested the United States (US) to monitor the human rights situation in their country first.

The death of George Floyd had shaken the world and put the US administration in bitter criticism, he said, adding that even the United Nation (UN) itself expressed concern over the issue of discrimination and oppression against black people in the US.

Besides, how many people have died on the Mexico-US border, he asked.

Millions of deaths occur in gun attacks each year and the tragic deaths of five people during the Capitol Riot in the US have unmasked the face of American democracy and the situation of its human rights, said Quader.

Quader said those responsible for the deaths and displacement of people in the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Yemen are now trying to advise on issues on human rights.

He further added that Amnesty International had repeatedly pointed out the weakness of the United States in its indicators of internal democracy and protection of human rights.

Some assassins of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman are still hiding in the United States and some war criminals have also fled to the country (US), he continued.

There were 984 extrajudicial killings in the US in 2020, he said quoting a tweet of former US senator Robert Reich.

Since 2015, Quader said there have been 6,600 extrajudicial killings by US law enforcement agency personnel and about 1,000 people die without trial every year.

He said that the Seventh Fleet of the United States was sent against Bangladesh during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. During the food crisis in Bangladesh in 1974, the United States had taken back its food-carrying vessels on the pretext of selling jute to Cuba.

Quader said that there were questions about the role of America in Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971 and the assassination of Bangabandhu in 1975 but Bangladesh did not take these sensitive issues into consideration for maintaining friendly relations between the two nations.

Mentioning that Bangladesh has friendly relations with the United States, the minister said the two countries are working from their respective positions on bilateral and common issues as well as multilateral issues.

He said that many people could not accept the continuous progress of Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, rather they just wanted to hatch conspiracies against this country.

Referring to the mutual trust and confidence in the friendly relations between the United States and Bangladesh, Quader said Bangladesh hopes that the US administration will be more caring in making decisions to advance the existing relations between the people of the two countries.

He said that there is an opportunity to resolve any issue through talks with the foreign ministries of the two countries.

Bangladesh has already summoned the US ambassador to convey its anger and dissatisfaction over the recent issue, he said.