The United States has already imposed visa restrictions on some law enforcement members, political leaders of ruling parties and opposition, the US embassy in Dhaka said today after the state department announced starting steps to impose visa restrictions on individuals responsible undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh.
Spokesperson of the US embassy Bryan Schiller disclosed the matter while taking to journalists but refrained from disclosing the number of people who were slapped the restriction.
“The US government started to closely monitor the situation here since the annoucemnt of the new visa policy. We’ve imposed visa restrictions on law enforcement, the ruling party, and the political opposition members,” Schiller said in replying to questions from journalists.
Journalists asked the embassy’s spokesperson whether the US government would disclose the names of the persons slapped with the visa restrictions, he said, “No, we would not disclose the names of the persons who came under the visa restrictions.”
He said the visa record is confidential in the US laws.
An hour before Schiller’s comment, the US state department website published a news release on the matter.
The press statement by US state department spokesperson Matthew Millar said, “Today, the Department of State is taking steps to impose visa restrictions on Bangladeshi individuals responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh. These individuals include members of law enforcement, the ruling party, and the political opposition.”
These persons and members of their immediate family may be found ineligible for entry into the United States. Additional persons found to have been responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh may also be found ineligible for US visas under this policy in the future. This includes current and former Bangladeshi officials, members of opposition and ruling political parties, and members of law enforcement, the judiciary, and security services,” the press statement adds.
The state department release said the United States is committed to supporting free and fair elections in Bangladesh that are carried out in a peaceful manner.
“Our actions today reflect the continued commitment of the United States to supporting Bangladesh’s goal of peacefully holding free and fair national elections, and to support those seeking to advance democracy globally,” it added.
Earlier on May 24, the US secretary of state Antony J Blinken announced the new visa policy under Section 212(a)(3)(C) (“3C”) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to support Bangladesh’s goal of holding free, fair, and peaceful national elections.