Bangladesh's Inspector General of Police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed has received travel confirmation to visit the USA to attend the police chief conference, organised by the United Nations (UN).
"The incumbent IGP had a US visa before the sanction was imposed. However, the UN Police Chief Conference is quite different from the US Sanctions territory. So, he wouldn't be barred from participating in the conference," a ministry source confirmed.
"The IGP might not be allowed to go anywhere else in New York besides the conference venue, as per the protocol," the source said, adding that Benazir was trying to get a confirmation through the US embassy that he will not be deported.
In a query regarding the IGP's US visa details, Jeff Ridenour, spokesperson of the US Embassy Dhaka, told The Business Standard, "Visa records are confidential under US law; therefore, we cannot discuss the details of individual visa cases."
"As host nation of the UN, except for limited exceptions, the United States is generally obligated under the UN Headquarters Agreement to facilitate travel to the UN headquarters district by representatives of UN member states.
"We take our obligations under the UN Headquarters Agreement seriously," he stated.
Ridenour said, "We cannot discuss individual cases.
"Generally, Section 7031(c) authorises waivers of, and exceptions to, the ineligibility that may permit an individual to travel under certain circumstances.
"For example, travel is permissible to further law enforcement objectives or to fulfill obligations under the United Nations Headquarters Agreement. Executive Order 13818 targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption," he further noted.
The United States on 10 December, 2021, sanctioned IGP Benazir and six other former and serving commanders in the Rapid Action Battalion for their human rights violations.
Despite sanctions on Benazir Ahmed, the government nominated him, along with other officials, to represent Bangladesh in the UN Summit.
Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan will lead the Bangladesh delegation at the summit from 31 August to 1 September, which is expected to discuss United Nations policing priorities in international peace and security processes, among other issues.
Apart from the minister and IGP, the home ministry's Joint Secretary Abu Hena Mostafa Zaman, Private Secretary to the minister Md Asaduzzaman, the police headquarters' Additional Deputy Inspector General (UN affairs) Nassian Wazed and IGP's staff officer Assistant Inspector General Muhammad Masud Alam were nominated for the visit.