With Dhaka firmly resisting the US overtures to join the Quad alliance in order to counterbalance growing Chinese power in the Indo-Pacific region, tensions between the two countries are rising.
This week, the Joe Biden administration imposed sanctions on Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), accusing it of involvement in hundreds of disappearances and extrajudicial killings since 2018.
Seven current or former officials of the RAP were also sanctioned, including Benazir Ahmed, one of RAB’s previous chiefs, over alleged rights abuses.
In a statement on Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said they are determined to put human rights at the centre of the Biden administration’s foreign policy.
“We reaffirm this commitment by using appropriate tools and authorities to draw attention to and promote accountability for human rights violations and abuses,” he said.
Bangladesh, which has in recent years captured global attention owing to its remarkable economic growth, was quick to respond to…