Founded in 2004, RAB is a joint task force composed of police, army, navy, air force, and border guards members. It is mandated for internal security, intelligence gathering related to criminal activities, and government-directed investigations.
New Delhi: 'Crueldom' in India's neighbourhood gets rapped by Washington. The United States on Friday imposed financial sanctions on the notorious Bangladeshi police unit Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and six of its current and former officers. The charges – they were allegedly responsible for serious human rights abuses.
Benazir Ahmed, a former director-general of the force, was barred from entering the United States due to his involvement in gross violations of human rights.
The US Treasury Department statement said, "Widespread allegations of serious human rights abuse in Bangladesh by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)—as part of the Bangladeshi government’s war on drugs—threaten US national security interests by undermining the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the economic prosperity of the people of Bangladesh."
RAB is a joint task force founded in 2004 and composed of members of the police, army, navy, air force, and border guards. RAB is mandated for internal security, intelligence gathering related to criminal activities, and government-directed investigations.
"NGOs have alleged that RAB and other Bangladeshi law enforcement are responsible for more than 600 disappearances since 2009," the US statement said.
"The US Department of State has announced visa restrictions under Section 7031(c) of the FY 2021 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act on Benazir Ahmed due to his involvement in gross violations of human rights, making him ineligible for entry into the United States."
Other RAB officials named by the statement from Washington are-Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun, Director General, RAB, April 15, 2020, Khan Mohammad Azad, Additional Director General (Operations), RAB, Tofayel Mustafa Sorwar, Mohammad Jahangir Alam and Mohammad Anwar Latif Khan.
Top authorities in China, too, have been named. "Shohrat Zakir served as the Chairman of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. Erken Tuniyaz (Tuniyaz) now serves as the acting Chairman of the XUAR and had served as its Vice Chairman. During their tenures, more than one million Uyghurs and members of other predominantly Muslim ethnic minority groups have been detained in Xinjiang," the US statement said.
The US report also slapped 'sanctions' on officials in Myanmar. "…persons sanctioned today are associated with the military regime’s ongoing attacks on democracy and brutal repression," it said.
"On February 1, 2021, the military of Burma disregarded the will of the people and overthrew the democratically elected civilian government. The military regime’s subsequent and ongoing brutal crackdowns against the people of Burma, including children and members of ethnic minority groups, continue to undermine respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms," it said.