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Warning to US? Bangladesh PM Says Will Stop Buying From Nations Which Impose Sanctions

© AP Photo / Kimimasa MayamaBangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina - Sputnik India, 1920, 13.05.2023
Earlier this month, Bangladesh’s Foreign Secretary Masud bin Momen once again urged the Biden administration to lift sanctions against Bangladeshi security officials as diplomats from the two countries convened for the Bangladesh-US Partnership Dialogue in Washington, DC.
Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that Dhaka would stop purchasing goods and services from countries which have imposed sanctions against her government.

"There is a tendency to slap sanctions… Sanctions against those who we use to contain terrorism. We have taken a decision. I have said that I will not buy anything from those countries which impose sanctions against us", Hasina said during a keynote address as she inaugurated a convention of the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB) in the port city of Chattogram.

The leader, who is the daughter of founder of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, recalled that all of her family members have been killed and that she had “nothing more to lose.” Rahman and members of his family were massacred at his residence in Dhaka by Army officials in the lead-up to a military coup.

"What will you do with me? My parents, brothers and sisters have all been killed. I have nothing to lose. But I want to take my country forward", Hasina said.

The comments were made in apparent reference to the US Treasury’s decision to impose sanctions against the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), an elite counter-terror and anti-drug trafficking agency of the Bangladeshi government. The RAB was constituted in 2004.
A worker checks a diamond at a diamond polishing workshop in Ahmedabad on January 10, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 10.05.2023
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In December 2021, the US Treasury accused several serving and former RAB officials of committing "serious human rights abuses" during Dhaka's "War on Drugs". It further accused the RAB of threatening US "national security interests by undermining the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the economic prosperity of the people of Bangladesh".
The sanctions didn't go down well with Dhaka. A day later, Bangladesh's Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen issued a demarche to the US ambassador to convey the Bangladeshi government's "discontent" over the decision.
"The Foreign Secretary regretted that the US decided to undermine an agency of the government that had been on the forefront of combating terrorism, drug trafficking and other heinous transnational crimes that were considered to be shared priorities with successive US administrations", a statement from Bangladesh's Foreign Ministry read.
As per the US trade representative, Bangladesh imports goods worth around $2.3 billion from the US.