United States Congressman Gregory W Meeks, who is also the Foreign Affairs Committee Chair, has said wholesale sanctions on Bangladesh are not warranted.
"I believe sanctions can be most useful when they are targeted and don't believe wholesale sanctions on Bangladesh are currently warranted," he noted in a statement issued Friday (4 February) according to the foreign affairs committee website.
However, he lent support to the US government's sanctions on Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).
"I strongly support Biden Administration's designation of the Rapid Action Battalion and several of its current and former members under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights and Accountability Act for human rights violations," he said.
Representative Meeks wished to continue to support the strengthening of the US and Bangladesh relationship.
He also looked forward to working to help address human rights and democracy challenges in Bangladesh including ensuring that the country's next elections are free and fair.
The United States on 10 December 2021 imposed sanctions on RAB and seven of its present and former top officials over allegations of serious human rights abuse.
The officials, designated by the Department of the Treasury under the Global Magnitsky sanctions programme, are Benazir Ahmed, former director general of RAB, Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun, director general of RAB, additional directors general (operations) Khan Mohammad Azad, Tofayel Mustafa Sorwar, Mohammad Jahangir Alam, and Mohammad Anwar Latif Khan, and Lt Col Miftah Uddin Ahmed, former commanding officer of RAB Unit 7.
Besides, the US State Department barred Benazir and Miftah from travelling to the United States. Due to the sanctions, they will not get a US visa, and may even have their assets in the US confiscated.
RAB is designated pursuant to EO 13818 for being a foreign entity that is responsible for or complicit in, or has directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse, it said on its website.