June 17, 2024, 4:57 pm


Diplomatic correspondent

Published:
2023-05-25 08:44:14 BdST

US announces new visa policy to "promote democratic elections" in Bangladesh


The USA has announced a new visa policy to promote, what it said, democratic elections in Bangladesh.

Under this policy, the United States will be able to restrict the issuance of visas for any Bangladeshi individual, believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh. 

In a press statement issued on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken confirmed the development.  He also shared the information on the Twitter and Meta pages. 

The Press Statement of Antony J. Blinken is following:

Today, I am announcing a new visa policy under Section 212(a)(3)(C) (“3C”) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to support Bangladesh’s goal of holding free, fair, and peaceful national elections. 

Under this policy, the United States will be able to restrict the issuance of visas for any Bangladeshi individual, believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh. 

This includes current and former Bangladeshi officials, members of pro-government and opposition political parties, and members of law enforcement, the judiciary, and security services.  The United States notified the Bangladeshi government of this decision on May 3, 2023.

Actions that undermine the democratic election process include vote rigging, voter intimidation, the use of violence to prevent people from exercising their right to freedoms of association and peaceful assembly, and the use of measures designed to prevent political parties, voters, civil society, or the media from disseminating their views.

The holding of free and fair elections is the responsibility of everyone—voters, political parties, the government, the security forces, civil society, and the media.  I am announcing this policy to lend our support to all those seeking to advance democracy in Bangladesh.

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