State Department denies claims of lifting sanctions on RAB

State Department denies claims of lifting sanctions on RAB Photo: Mushfiqul Fazal, Just News BD

Mushfiqul Fazal, State Department correspondent

Washington, D.C., May 16, 2024

During Thursday’s State Department briefing, Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel unequivocally denied claims made by Salman F Rahman, Private Industry and Investment advisor to Bangladesh's ruling Prime Minister regarding the lifting of U.S. sanctions on the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB). The RAB, a specialized anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit, was sanctioned by the U.S. for severe human rights violations and extrajudicial killings.

State Department correspondent Mushfiqul Fazal posed a question about recent comments from Salam Rahman, The adviser had reported, following a meeting with visiting Assistant Secretary Donald Lu, that both the White House and the State Department were eager to remove the sanctions imposed on the RAB.

“After the meeting with the visiting Assistant Secretary Donald Lu, Bangladesh’s ruling prime minister’s advisor told reporters that the White House and the State Department are very much willing to remove the sanctions imposed on the RAB for extreme violations of human rights and extrajudicial killings. He said that the State Department and White House are working to remove the sanctions,” Mushfique recounted.

Patel responded firmly to these assertions: “Those claims are false. The U.S. is not withdrawing sanctions against the RAB. Sanctions are intended to change behavior and promote accountability.”

This clear stance from the State Department reinforces the U.S. commitment to human rights and accountability, contradicting the statements made by the Bangladeshi official.

The sanctions on the RAB, imposed by the U.S. in response to serious human rights abuses, remain firmly in place. The U.S. government continues to emphasize the importance of these measures in encouraging behavioral change and ensuring accountability within organizations accused of such violations.