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06DHAKA2450 2006-04-27 01:59:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Dhaka
Cable title:  

AMBASSADOR'S COURTESY CALL ON HOME MINISTER.

Tags:   PREL PTER BG 
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1. (SBU) On April 23, Ambassador paid an introductory call
on Home Affairs Minister of State Lutfuzzoman Babar. Home
Secretary Raj Hossain, Joint Secretary Ahkter Ahmed, MFA

SIPDIS
Americas DG Shahidul Islam, and RLA (notetaker) were also
present.



2. (C) Babar thanked the USG for its growing training
program with the police. Ambassador observed that we are
also exploring options for engaging with the Rapid Action
Battalion (RAB) in the form of human rights training, but
that RAB extra-judicial killings remain a serious problem.
RAB, Babar replied, consists of the best people the military
and the police have to offer, and it enjoys the highest level
of political and logistical support. All RAB "cross-fire"
deaths, he added, are investigated by a senior Magistrate.



3. (SBU) Babar looks forward to his upcoming five-day visit
to New York and Washington. The Bangladesh Embassy is
seeking meetings for him with Homeland Security Secretary
Chertoff, the Attorney General, and the National Security
Council, he said. Babar also expressed interest in visiting a
prison. In New York, he will meet with UN officials on
peacekeeping operations. He also said he received a letter
from Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and may go to visit him in
Tallahassee if there is time. The Prime Minister's son,
Tareque Rahman, will also make the trip but it is still not
clear if NSI DG General Haider would also accompany.



4. (SBU) In response to Ambassador's advocacy for fair
consideration for Motorola's bid to supply radios to the
police, and our concerns that the process underway is not
transparent or non-discriminatory, Babar asserted his total
commitment to a transparent process. While it would not be
appropriate for MHA to meet separately with just one bidder,
he said, his staff would meet with the Embassy to review the
tender documents. (Note: We are following up on this offer
and will report separately.)



5. (SBU) Ambassador raised concern with the sub-standard diet
now being fed to an American citizen on death row whose
conviction is still under appeal. (Note: Without reference
to the American's guilt or innocence, we have repeatedly
noted several significant due process deficiencies with his
trial.) Babar invited the Embassy to contact Home Secretary
Hossain to work out details for a weekly care package to the
American from his family.
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