Bangladesh
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Don't see logic behind this sudden sanction

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has questioned the logic behind the visa sanction on Bangladesh by the United States even though her government has ensured all rights including the voting right of the people.

"We have ensured a proper environment for elections through movement, struggle. People are conscious about their right to franchise. We've done this. Now I don't see any logic behind this sudden sanction," she said in an interview with the Bangla service of Voice of America (VoA) aired today.

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"Today they (US) are imposing sanctions, may impose more sanctions in future… it is up to them. The rights of our country's people -- their voting rights, fundamental rights and rights to live -- we have ensured all those," she said responding to a question on the US sanction and Bangladesh government's efforts to strengthen friendly relations with the US.

The prime minister, now on a visit to the US, responded to a number of questions on US visa sanction, human rights, Khaleda's treatment abroad, caretaker government, the constitution and other issues.

Hasina said there is no problem if the US prevents the people's entry to the country as there are sufficient employment opportunities in Bangladesh now.

Pointing to human rights violation allegations, she said members of law enforcement agencies whether it is Rab or police, are tried in Bangladesh according to the existing law if anyone does anything wrong. "No one is spared in the trial."

"If they talk about human rights or voting rights, we, the Awami League, have fought for the right to vote, the people of our country shed blood to establish their right to vote. We have taken all the necessary measures to ensure a fair and free election," she said.

Narrating the development of the country, the prime minister said Bangladesh has changed a lot in between 2099 and 2023. "There is no famine in Bangladesh. The unemployment rate has reduced; it now stands at 3 percent."

"People now can eat whatever they want. Bangladesh is now digitalised. People have internet access. The country has been brought under wifi connection. Electricity is available at each house, roads and other infrastructures have been developed so that people can earn their livelihood, prioritising vocational education. We have been working for the country," she said.

"The people of our country are now more conscious about voting rights. We had a demand for a fair and neutral election and we have established it through movements," she added.