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Joe Biden’s foul tactics of blackmailing Bangladesh

Biden, Secretary of State, Hungary, Turkey, Jamaat-e-Islami, Antony Blinken, Bangladesh, Rapid Action Battalion, Anatoly Antonov

Opinion

Joe Biden’s foul tactics of blackmailing Bangladesh

Recently, Biden administration has imposed sanctions on Rapid Action Battalion, an elite force of Bangladesh Police that has been vigorously combating terrorism and narcotics, along with several officials of this organization and the current Inspector General of Bangladesh Police. This action was pronounced days after Joe Biden held a so-called Democracy Summit. While Pakistan, a country championed for human rights violations and continuous persecution of religious minorities were invited as one of the key participants in this so-called Democracy Summit, a large number of democratic nations were excluded from the guest list. About a week before this summit, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that “every democracy is a work in progress, and it doesn’t mean that we are giving the opposite of a stamp of approval or a negative stamp to people who are not invited”.

Asked about Turkey and Hungary being left off the list, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Euronews a day after Jen Psaki’s press conference that the event was a “Summit for Democracy – not for democracies”.

“It’s about renewing and reinvigorating democracies that are in many ways under challenge, in some cases from within, in other cases from without”, Blinken said. “And so we’re bringing countries together virtually in support of renewing democracy at home and taking concrete measures to do that, but also looking at how we can be more supportive of democracies that are under challenge around the world”.

Commenting on this summit, Russian ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov in a wide-ranging interview with Newsweek said: “No country has a right to judge who is ‘democratic’ and who is not. The path to prosperity of nations lies through respectful cooperation with each other, despite differences in views on particular issues”.

Biden administration’s decision of imposing sanctions on Bangladesh’s police chief along with the Rapid Action Battalion is a result of frantic bids of a number of lobbyist firms hired by Jamaat-e-Islami as well as other radical Islamic groups and their funders. Most disturbing fact here is, Biden administration made foul attempt of portraying anti-terror elite force Rapid Action Battalion as a villain, while it granted free-pass to Pakistan, a country infamous for gross human rights violations.

According to the US State Department reports on human rights practice:

Significant human rights issues included: unlawful or arbitrary killings by the government or its agents, including extrajudicial killings; forced disappearance by the government or its agents; torture and cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by the government or its agents; arbitrary detention; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; political prisoners; politically motivated reprisal against individuals located outside the country; arbitrary or unlawful government interference with privacy; serious restrictions on free expression, the press, and the internet, including violence against journalists, unjustified arrests and disappearances of journalists, censorship, and site blocking; government interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, such as overly restrictive nongovernmental organization laws; severe restrictions of religious freedom; restrictions on freedom of movement; corruption within the bureaucracy; lack of investigation of and accountability for violence against women; unlawful recruitment and use of child soldiers by nonstate militant groups; trafficking in persons; crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting members of racial and ethnic minorities; crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex persons by nonstate actors; the existence or use of laws criminalizing consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adults; restrictions on workers’ freedom of association; and the use of the worst forms of child labor.

There was a lack of government accountability, and abuses often went unpunished, fostering a culture of impunity among perpetrators, whether official or unofficial. Authorities seldom punished government officials for human rights abuses.

Terrorist violence and human rights abuses by nonstate actors contributed to human rights problems, although to a lesser extent than in previous years, consistent with an overall decline in terrorist activity. Military, police, and law enforcement agencies continued to carry out significant campaigns against militant and terrorist groups. Nevertheless, violence, abuse, and social and religious intolerance by militant organizations and other nonstate actors, both local and foreign, contributed to a culture of lawlessness.

Still, not a word from Biden administration on Pakistan and its serious human rights violation records. Why?

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

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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