US to take action to support democracy in Bangladesh if necessary: Miller

US state department spokesperson Matthew Millar addresses a regular press briefing on Monday.
Screenshot from video

The United States will take action to support democracy in Bangladesh if necessary, US state department spokesperson Matthew Millar said on Monday.

Matthew Millar made the remark while replying to a question on Bangladesh in the regular press briefing of the state department.

During the briefing, a journalist said, "We have seen your statement over the weekend about attacks on opposition grand rally and violence in Bangladesh. This violence was basically orchestrated by the police and there was internet shutdown prior to the rally began. Since then, police have arrested hundreds of opposition politicians, including the secretary general of the main opposition, BNP, and the family members of the opposition leaders, and filed hundred cases against them. So how does the US react to this situation?”

In reply, Matthew Millar said, “We condemn the political violence that took place in Dhaka on 28 October. The reported killing of a police officer, a political activist, and the burning of a hospital and buses are unacceptable, as is violence against civilians, including journalists.

“We encourage the authorities to thoroughly investigate the incidents at the 28 October rally and to hold those responsible for violence accountable. The holding of free and fair elections is the responsibility of everyone – voters, political parties, the government.”

Another journalist asked, “In recent days, pro-government media outlets and their supporters have criticised the US embassy in Dhaka officials for meeting with the opposition political leaders and dissidents. These reports suggest that the regime is spying on the US diplomats. Are you allowing spying by US diplomats in in Bangladesh?”

In reply, the state department spokesperson said, “I will just say that diplomats talk to a wide variety of people – civil society organisations, media professionals, business leaders, cultural contributors, educators, and many other types of organisations and individuals. That is what diplomats do as part of their everyday jobs.”