Three ministers have been tasked to oversee and mitigate the sanctions imposed on Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and several of its former and current officials over "human rights violations."
Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam disclosed the development to the media after a cabinet meeting on Monday.
The responsibility has been delegated to – Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, and Law Minister Anisul Huq.
The US on Friday imposed sanctions on RAB and seven of its former and current officials.
The US State Department linked the current Inspector General of Police (IGP) and former RAB director general (DG) Benazir Ahmed, and former RAB-7 commanding officer Lt Col Miftah Uddin Ahmed to the "extrajudicial" killing of Teknaf Municipality councillor Ekramul Haque, during an anti-drug drive in May 2018.
In addition to RAB, the US also imposed extensive human rights-related sanctions on people and entities originating from China, Myanmar, and North Korea, and included Chinese artificial intelligence company SenseTime Group in an investment blacklist.
Meanwhile, the Treasury Department designated RAB, Benazir, and five other former and current officials of the elite force under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, EO 13818 citing "serious human rights abuse relating to their tenure."
The others sanctioned are:
- Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun, DG, RAB, 15 April, 2020 to present
- Khan Mohammad Azad, additional director general (operations), RAB, 16 March , 2021 to present
- Tofayel Mustafa Sorwar, former additional director general (operations), RAB, 27 June, 2019 to 16 March, 2021
- Mohammad Jahangir Alam, former additional director general (operations), RAB, 17 September, 2018 to 27 June, 2019
- Mohammad Anwar Latif Khan, former additional director general (operations), RAB, 28 April, 2016 to 17 September, 2018
- The EO 13818 means blocking of property in the US. It is the first time individuals or entities from Bangladesh have been the subject of US sanctions.
Apart from the US, Canada, and the UK also issued sanctions on Myanmar top officials related to human rights abuse, while Washington imposed the first new sanctions on North Korea since Joe Biden came into power.
The sanctions targeted Myanmar military entities, among others, in action marking the Human Rights Day.