US Visa Policy Aims at Promoting Free, Fair Elections in Bangladesh
The United States will reject visas to individuals and their immediate family members who would be found to be involved in undermining free and fair elections in Bangladesh. The US Department of State officially announced the new policy on Wednesday, May 24.
US Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu has said they have not imposed any sanctions on anybody but introduced a new visa policy.
“Today, I announced a new visa policy to promote free and fair elections. Under this policy, we can impose visa restrictions on individuals and their immediate family members if they are responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted.
The US notified the Bangladeshi government of this decision on 3 May, the US Department of State said.
“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,” Blinken said, adding,
“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.”