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BNP-Jamaat gets heart attack as US issues fresh sanction list

BNP, Jamaat, US sanction, US Department of Treasury

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BNP-Jamaat gets heart attack as US issues fresh sanction list

BNP-Jamaat leaders and activists are in greatest shock as their evil hope and multi-million-dollar efforts of getting dozens of individuals in Bangladesh under US sanction has turned into bad-dream. This newspaper has repeatedly said, there won’t be any sanctions on anyone in Bangladesh this time. Our forecasts were not based on mere speculations. We had provided information which were based on solid sources in the US Capitol.

Minutes ago, the US Department of Treasury has issued list of freshly sanctioned individuals through a press release. On the occasion of Human Rights Day and International Anti-Corruption Day, the US authorities in its press release titled “Treasury Sanctions Over 40 Individuals and Entities Across Nine Countries Connected to Corruption and Human Rights Abuse” said:

Today the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), in recognition of International Anti-Corruption Day and Human Rights Day, is sanctioning a diverse array of over 40 individuals and entities that are connected to corruption or human rights abuse across nine countries.

Over the course of 2022, Treasury took numerous actions to promote accountability for human rights abusers and corrupt actors across the world, including sanctions on dozens of individuals and entities including in the Western Balkans, Belarus, Liberia, Guatemala, the Russian Federation, Burma, and Iran. Treasury utilized various tools and authorities — including Executive Order (EO) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act — to demonstrate the US government’s focus on promoting respect for human rights and countering corruption.

“Corrupt actors and human rights abusers both rely on deficiencies in the international financial system to perpetrate their activities,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “Over the past year, Treasury has made combatting corruption and serious human rights abuse a top priority, including through the use of financial sanctions and addressing vulnerabilities in the US and international financial systems. By exposing the egregious behavior of these actors, we can help disrupt their activities, dismantle their networks, and starve them of resources”.

The United States is committed to taking actions consistent with its values and recognizes that respect for human rights is a prerequisite for global peace, security, and prosperity. Today OFAC also designated two individuals and the networks of entities that they control in connection with serious human rights abuse aboard distant water fishing vessels.

Today’s actions are also a key component of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to implement the first-ever US Strategy for Countering Corruption, released in December 2021. Treasury is working diligently to implement other elements of the strategy, including efforts to curb illicit finance related to corruption. For example, as part of Treasury’s ongoing work implementing the Corporate Transparency Act, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued in September 2022 a final rule on beneficial ownership information reporting requirements, which will help stop corrupt actors and other criminals from using anonymous shell companies to hide their ill-gotten gains. Additionally, Treasury is working to enhance the transparency of the real estate sector, as well as strengthen global efforts to counter corruption at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and other bodies, in support of the Strategy. Through these and other efforts, the Treasury Department is focused on addressing the vulnerabilities in the US and international financial systems that the corrupt exploit to launder their illicit proceeds.

Sanctions on individuals inside Iranian mullah regime

Washington has now expressed its open support towards pro-democracy and anti-regime protestors in Iran by imposing sanctions on several individuals. In the press release, commenting on sanctions on Iranian individuals the US Department of Treasury said:

Iran has experienced mass, countrywide protests following the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by Iran’s Morality Police in mid-September 2022 for allegedly improperly wearing a hijab. Iranian security forces have responded with violence to the protests, reportedly killing hundreds, including children, and arresting thousands. Since September, Treasury has issued five rounds of sanctions targeting the Morality Police, a range of Iranian security and government officials involved in the use of violence against Iranian protestors, prison officials involved in the detention of protestors, Iranian media officials associated with broadcasts of coerced confessions relating to the protests, and officials responsible for shutting down Iran’s Internet to stifle freedom of expression online.

Today’s action targets Ali Akbar Javidan (Javidan), the Law Enforcement Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran (LEF) commander in Iran’s Kermanshah Province who has direct oversight over forces that have killed protesters, including children and the elderly. The LEF was designated in 2011 pursuant to E.O. 13553, an Iran human rights authority, for being responsible for or complicit in serious human rights abuses in Iran since the June 2009 disputed presidential election. The LEF has repeatedly used excessive force in response to protests in Iran in recent years, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of unarmed protesters. Javidan has made public statements justifying the police response to the ongoing protests while valorizing the LEF forces for suppressing them. Javidan also publicly vowed to punish so-called moral crimes, including the alleged improper wearing of the hijab, during a July 2022 roundup of 1700 people.

Javidan is designated pursuant to E.O. 13818 for being a foreign person who is or has been a leader or official of an entity, including any government entity, that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious human rights abuse relating to his tenure.

Ebrahim Kouchakzaei (Kouchakzaei) served as an LEF commander in Chabahar, in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchistan Province. Kouchakzaei is the alleged perpetrator of a mid-September 2022 rape of a 15-year-old girl. According to reports, the incident, which occurred shortly after the death of Mahsa Amini, fueled major protests throughout the province in late September, leading to a violent backlash from security forces and the killings of more than 60 people.

Kouchakzaei is designated pursuant to E.O. 13553 for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Iran’s LEF.

OFAC is also designatingAllah Karam Azizi (Azizi), the warden of Iran’s notorious Rejaee Shahr Prison. Rejaee Shahr Prison is known to house political prisoners and those who protest against the regime. Those imprisoned there have suffered serious physical abuse at the hands of the prison’s guards. Azizi has personally ordered these abuses; under Azizi’s leadership, Rezaee Shahr Prison has remained a place rife with abuse, where prisoners suffer from physical abuse.and medical neglect.

Azizi is designated pursuant to E.O. 13818 for being a foreign person who is or has been a leader or official of an entity, including any government entity, that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious human rights abuse relating to his tenure.

BNP-Jamaat’s multi-million-dollar anti-Bangladesh effort flops

For the past several months, pro-Islamist Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and pro-militancy Jamaat-e-Islami were spending millions of dollars towards lobbyists in getting 173 individuals in Bangladesh sanctioned this year. They also made similar efforts in the United Kingdom through multiple channels. Meanwhile, sitting in Washington DC, BNP’s acting chairman Tarique Rahman’s man Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey by teaming-up with William B Milam continued frantic bids in pushing US policymakers as well as the United Nations in imposing sanctions on the Human Rights Day. Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey even went further by openly declaring on his Facebook ID stating sanctions will be imposed on Human Rights Day. Similarly, another pro-militancy individual named Tasneem Khalil had also made similar declaration through a Facebook post.

It may be mentioned here that, ever-since the US Department of Treasury imposed sanctions on several officers of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) on December 10, 2021, an individual named Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey, who is known for his affiliations with jihadist groups has been making frantic bids in pushing the United Nations as well as the US Department of State in bringing more politicians and civil-military officials from Bangladesh under fresher sanctions. Ansarey, who has been working as the “Permanent Correspondent” of an illegal website named ‘Just News’, with active collaboration of William Bryant Milam (William B Milam), an American diplomat, who is known as the Senior Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC., has been making desperate bids both in the Capitol in Washington DC and the UN Headquarters in New York City, with the agenda of misleading key policymakers in Washington and the UN against Bangladesh and ruling Awami League.

Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey is under monthly payroll of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and several family members of war criminals. According to a credible source, Ansarey spends thousands of dollars every week in socializing with key individuals in the US, while he also is seen having lunch and dinner with those individuals, where most of the times he is accompanied by William B Milam.

Although Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey succeeded in getting press accreditation in the White House and the United Nations claiming as the “US Correspondent” of an illegal website, recently vernacular daily Manabzamin in a report termed Ansarey as its “Permanent Reporter in the United Nations”. It is unknown how this newspaper is sending monthly salary to Ansarey in foreign currency.

It may be mentioned here that, on October 27, 2020, at the persuasions of William B Milam and Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey, ten US Senators sent a letter to then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin calling for sanctions against RAB officials. In the United Kingdom, the Guernica 37 Chambers law offices made a formal submission to the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in August 2021 recommending sanctions for 15 current and former senior RAB officers. On August 31, 2021, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission held a virtual hearing on enforced disappearances in Bangladesh where several witnesses suggested taking punitive action. Bangladesh Foreign Ministry was not appraised of the case of letters sent by the US Senators, as it was later alleged that the Bangladesh High Commissioner is Washington DC was actually a former leader of BNP’s student wing.

It may be mentioned here that, although to most of the people in Washington DC, William Bryant Milam an American diplomat is known as the Senior Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, in reality, Milam is affiliated with radical Islamic jihadist groups as well as notorious Jamaat-e-Islami.

In the United States, one of his top cohorts in as individual named Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey, who represents an non-existent website from Bangladesh named Just News and also claims to be the Executive Director of a dubious organization named Right to Freedom, which is funded by Jamaat-e-Islami and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

Former diplomat William B Milam is the president of this organization and has been receiving monthly “honorarium” from the Islamist nexus. According to the website of Right to Freedom, it does not have any office or contact phone numbers. The pattern of this dubious organization is similar to deep-covered entities of Al Qaeda, Islamic State, Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah and Hamas.

Most interestingly, Ansarey has become the White House correspondent for Just News, an illegal news portal that is ruthlessly anti-US, anti-Semite, anti-India and pro-jihad. It is a mystery as to how the White House authorities have issued accreditation to Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey to represent an illegal and unknown website named ‘Just News’. But in reality, there is no existence of any news outlet named ‘Just News’ in Bangladesh, rather the website says, Mushfique Fazal Ansarey himself is the editor of it. Meaning, he has fooled the White House in getting press accreditation by making false claim of being the “US Correspondent” of Just News website. Law enforcement agencies in the US, along with the White House need to initiate an immediate investigation into this matter and revoke press accreditation card issued to Mushfique Fazal Ansarey.

With Mushfique Fazal Ansarey, Milam runs a dubious organization named Right to Freedom, which receives funding from Jamaat-e-Islami and other Islamist and jihadist forces and individuals. He has also been playing lead role in spreading propaganda and lies against Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League as well as various organizations and individuals.

Seeking anonymity, a source said, as William B Milam has connections with key officials at the State Department as well as members of the US Congress and Senate, he is being used by Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Jamaat-e-Islami as well as other Islamist forces in Bangladesh. One of Milam’s agendas is also to lure Biden administration in directly interfering into 2024 general elections in Bangladesh.

An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, research-scholar, counter-terrorism specialist, and editor of Blitz. Follow him on Twitter Salah_Shoaib

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