US still maintains visa restrictions for Bangladesh: State Dept
The United States (US) still maintains the visa restriction policy for the people undermining elections and democratic process in Bangladesh, says its Department of State.
Vedant Patel, the principal deputy spokesperson for the department, reaffirmed his country's position while responding to a query at a regular media briefing on Monday.
A journalist sought to know about the current status of the visa restrictions given the development that the national polls in Bangladesh did not reflect the will of the people.
In response, Vedant Patel said, “I do not have any updates or changes to offer when it comes to policy. My understanding is that these policies do not sunset just because the election is over, but I do not have any updates to offer.”
The journalist then asked specifically if the policies still exist, while the spokesperson simply replied, “That is – yes. There is no change in policy.”
Later, the journalist raised the issue of Nobel Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus and the ongoing lawsuits against him in Bangladesh.
We share concerns voiced by other international observers that these cases may represent a misuse of Bangladesh’s labour laws to – as a way to intimidate Dr Yunus
In the question, he noted that the government here filed a fresh corruption charge against Dr Yunus and restricted his ability to travel abroad through a court order. Also, a coalition of 243 global leaders, including 125 Nobel laureates, expressed concern over the judicial harassment against Dr Yunus, while 12 bipartisan US senators, led by Senator Dick Durbin, called for a halt to all harassment.
He asked “how the Department of State views the (Bangladesh) prime minister’s political vendetta against Professor Muhammad Yunus?”
Vedant Patel responded to this query, saying, “We share concerns voiced by other international observers that these cases may represent a misuse of Bangladesh’s labour laws to – as a way to intimidate Dr Yunus. And our hope is that we would encourage the Bangladeshi Government to ensure a fair and transparent legal process for Dr Yunus as the appeals process continues.”