Persecution Alert

Editor of Bangladesh’s only magazine for LGBT community and fellow human rights activist hacked to death

25 April 2016

On 25 April, 35-year-old Xulhaz Mannan, a founding editor of Roopbaan, the country’s only magazine for the LGBT community, was hacked to death in Dhaka along with fellow activist Mahbub Tonoy.

These incidents bring some realities into stark relief, including the country’s elephant in the room. The Bangladeshi police, despite their claims of having made several arrests of militants responsible for the string of killings of bloggers and activists over the last 14 months, have not broken the back of the militant organisations conducting these attacks.

The deaths of Mannan and his friend adds to a series of horrific murders of bloggers and academics in the country. It comes two days after Rezaul Karim Siddique, 58, an English professor, was hacked to death with machetes as he walked from his home to a bus station in the north-western city of Rajshahi. Earlier this month, Nazimuddin Samad, 28, an atheist blogger, was murdered near Jagannath University, where he was a law student.

Since last February, Al Qaeda affiliates have taken responsibility for at least seven killings in the country. The Islamic State has owned up to more than double that number during the same period.

See: Saad Hammadi, Founder of Bangladesh's first and only LGBT magazine killed, The Guardian (25 April 2016)

See also: David Bergman, The dangerous fuel that is keeping Bangladesh on the boil, (29 April 2016)


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