US announces new visa policy targeting next general election in Bangladesh

25 May 2023, 12:58 am | Updated: 30 September 2023, 11:41 am

US announces new visa policy targeting next general election in Bangladesh
Photo: collected

The United States has said the country is not imposing any new sanctions on Bangladesh but announced a new visa policy to promote free and fair elections.

"Under this policy, we can impose visa restrictions on individuals and their immediate family members if they are responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Wednesday, reports UNB.

This includes current and former Bangladeshi officials, members of the ruling  or opposition political parties, and members of law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, and security services, according to the announcement available at the US Department of State. 

The United States notified the Bangladesh government of such a decision on May 3, 2023.

"Actions that undermine the democratic election process include vote rigging, voter intimidation, the use of violence to prevent people from exercising their right to freedoms of association and peaceful assembly, and the use of measures designed to prevent political parties, voters, civil society, or the media from disseminating their views," Blinken said.

The holding of free and fair elections is the responsibility of everyone—voters, political parties, the government, the security forces, civil society, and the media, he said.

 "I am announcing this policy to lend our support to all those seeking to advance democracy in Bangladesh," Blinken said.

Category : National