Cabinet secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam

Three ministers have been tasked with looking into the US sanctions on the seven former and incumbent officials of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).

These three minsters are home minister Asaduzzaman Khan, law minister Anisul Huq and foreign minister AK Abdul Momen.

Cabinet secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam made the disclosure in reply to a query during a press conference after the cabinet meeting at the secretariat in Dhaka on Monday.

He said there was no discussion on the matter at the meeting and home, law and foreign ministers have been looking into it.

The United States on Friday imposed human rights-related sanctions on Benazir Ahmed, current inspector general of the Bangladesh Police and former director general of RAB and six other individuals on the occasion of International Human Rights Day.

The US Department of State announced visa restrictions on Benazir Ahmed, which it says, due to his “involvement in gross violations of human rights” making him ineligible for entry into the United States.

RAB as an entity, Benazir Ahmed, and six other officials were designated by the Department of the Treasury under the Global Magnitsky sanctions programme in connection with serious human rights abuse, said the US Department of State. Incumbent RAB director general Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun is also among the officials facing the sanction.

The next day, the government summoned the US ambassador in Dhaka and strongly protested against the sanctions. Minsters have also been strongly criticising it.

Awami League general secretary and road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader at a programme on Monday said the US sanctions would inspire militancy and its patrons.