Reacting to Northeast News’ October 17 report headlined ‘US ultimatum to Hasina: Exit constitutionally by Nov 3 or face the music’, an American embassy spokesperson in Dhaka today said that “We are aware of this report by an online outlet that is blocked in Bangladesh. As Deputy Assistant Secretary Afreen Akhter said yesterday, the United States supports free, fair, and peaceful elections in Bangladesh”.
Responding to questions by United News of Bangladesh (UNB) wire service, on Northeast News’ story, American embassy spokesperson Bryan Schiller said that while the US does not take sides in Bangladesh, it wants to see “free, fair and peaceful” elections in the country.
“We do not take sides or prefer one political party over others in Bangladesh. We want the people of Bangladesh to be able to choose their own leaders,” Schiller said in response to a question from UNB.
“The spokesperson made the remarks when the embassy’s attention was drawn to a report on a US “ultimatum”, according to UNB.
The UNB report said, “Quoting US Deputy Assistant Secretary Afreen Akhter, the embassy spokesperson said that elections are not just about how they are conducted on election day, but also about allowing space for the civil society, the media, and other stakeholders to engage freely in the democratic process”.
The UNB report further said in the context of free, fair, peaceful elections in that Bangladesh that “He (Schiller) said that the US State Department, Ambassador Peter Haas and others have said this many times.