The US has announced a new visa policy under Section 212(a)(3)(C) (“3C”) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to support Bangladesh’s goal of holding free, fair, and peaceful national elections.
According to the notification by the US to Bangladesh government on May 3, 2023, the State Department clarified that under this policy, the United States will be able to restrict the issuance of visas for any Bangladeshi individual, believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh.
This includes current and former Bangladeshi officials, members of pro-government and opposition political parties, and members of law enforcement, the judiciary, and security services.
Actions that undermine the democratic election process include vote rigging, voter intimidation, the use of violence to prevent people from exercising their right to freedoms of association and peaceful assembly, and the use of measures designed to prevent political parties, voters, civil society, or the media from disseminating their views.
The holding of free and fair elections for the advancement of democracy in Bangladesh is the responsibility of everyone—voters, political parties, the government, the security forces, civil society, and the media, added the State Department of the USA.