US Announces Visa Restrictions on Bangladeshi Individuals for Election Interference

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Priyodesh News, September 23, 2023: In a significant move, the United States has taken steps to impose visa restrictions on individuals from Bangladesh involved in undermining the democratic election process in the country. The announcement was made by Matthew Miller, the Spokesperson for the Department of State, on Friday.

Miller emphasized that these measures reflect the United States’ unwavering commitment to supporting Bangladesh’s pursuit of peaceful and genuinely democratic national elections, as well as its broader dedication to advancing democracy worldwide.

The individuals targeted by these restrictions encompass a range of political actors, including members of law enforcement, the ruling party, and the political opposition in Bangladesh.

“The United States is committed to supporting free and fair elections in Bangladesh that are carried out in a peaceful manner,” stated Miller, highlighting the importance of maintaining democratic principles in the electoral process.

As part of the visa restrictions, both the individuals themselves and their immediate family members may find themselves ineligible for entry into the United States.

Furthermore, the US Department of State has warned that additional individuals involved in undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh could face similar visa restrictions in the future. This includes not only current and former officials but also members of opposition and ruling political parties, as well as individuals from law enforcement, the judiciary, and security services.

Uzra Zeya, the US Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Human Rights, and Democracy, expressed support for the decision on X, previously known as Twitter. She emphasized that the announcement underscores the United States’ commitment to “free, fair, and peaceful elections” globally while also supporting the efforts of the Bangladeshi government, civil society, and media to ensure elections that genuinely represent the will of the Bangladeshi people.

This move follows a decision announced in May of this year by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Under Section 212(a)(3)(C) (“3C”) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the United States aims to bolster Bangladesh’s efforts to hold free, fair, and peaceful national elections.

Under this policy, visas may be restricted for any Bangladeshi individuals believed to be involved in undermining the democratic election process. The decision to implement these restrictions was conveyed to the Bangladesh government on May 3, 2023, marking a significant development in US-Bangladesh relations in the realm of democratic governance.