The US Sanctions Against Bangladesh Law Enforcing Officials
The Coalition for Human Rights and Democracy in Bangladesh (CHRD Bangladesh) has the honor to gratefully acknowledge and express happiness at the recent US punitive action against a few officials of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) of Bangladesh for their involvement in gross human rights violations. The CHRD Bangladesh also appreciates the visa restriction against the corrupt former army chief General Aziz Ahmad.
Earlier, the CHRD Bangladesh issued a statement hailing the US actions on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day on December 10, 2021. (Human Rights Groups Greatly Appreciate The US Sanctions On RAB | ChrdBangladesh).
The statement quoted Phil Roberstson of the Human Rights Watch (HRW), who said on the US sanction, “RAB deserved to be sanctioned years ago because it has been a de facto death squad, operating with impunity for years in Bangladesh”.
HRW also gave a sample of RAB crimes committed between 2009 and September 2021, as reported by the Odhikar, a Bangladeshi rights organization. According to Odhikar, RAB extrajudicially killed at least 1,255 people, and was a major perpetrator of enforced disappearance of more than 600 people, most of whom were either found dead or still missing.
While this is a right step in keeping with the agenda of President Joe Biden in his foreign policy objectives, the CHRD Bangladesh and most other human rights and democracy organizations feel it is too little. The persons identified are definitely in the loop of the vicious circle that routinely perpetrate abuses, they are only the tip of the iceberg. They did not act alone; nor do they now. They are part of the command channel that starts from the top, the Prime Minister. In fact, a common term used for the Bangladesh Prime Minister is the “Mother of Mafia.”
The Qatar based Al Jazeera made an investigative report on the criminal and corruption activities of Sheikh Hasina and her army chief General Aziz Ahmed. Titled “All the Prime Minister’s Men”, the first installment of the report can be seen in these links:
For the US actions to be even effective and deterrent, people in the chain of command should also need to be taken to task. If the command channel is left untouched, its viciousness is expected not only to continue but also to grow in vengeance. The nation and the people will continue to suffer with increased intensity. This limited, small-scale action may even lead to further suffering to the people, rendering the US action counterproductive.
It is, therefore, felt that the scope of the sanctions be widened to root out the source, the Prime Minister, and the entire paraphernalia in the chain of crime.
Coalition for Human Rights and Democracy in Bangladesh (CHRD Bangladesh), a US based non-profit organization with global membership.
December 22, 2021