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Visa policy aims to support efforts to hold free, fair polls

Democracy 2023-05-25, 10:21am


US Embassy, Dhaka

The US Embassy in Dhaka in a clarification on the new visa policy said, “The United States supports free and fair elections everywhere. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her government have committed to supporting free and fair elections in Bangladesh. This policy is designed to support these efforts and the Bangladeshi people, so they may hold elections to choose their leaders.”

The policy applies to anyone who is responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh.

The United States does not support any particular political party. Restrictions under this new policy target individuals engaging in behavior that undermines the democratic election process, regardless of affiliation.

This policy applies to any individual responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh. This includes current or former Bangladeshi officials, government supporters, and opposition members, among others. This would also include the immediate family members of such persons.

It is a general practice to notify individuals whose visas are revoked or cancelled.

Given our close cooperation with the Government of Bangladesh, we informed it of this policy decision on May 3.

As the Secretary stated, the United States is committed to building a strong partnership with the Government of Bangladesh grounded in democracy and human rights. We welcome the Prime Minister’s expressed commitment to holding free and fair elections, the clarification said.