Gay Activist and LGBT Magazine `Roopban’ Editor Killed in Bangladesh

The editor of Bangladesh’s first and only  LGBT (Lesbian , Gay, Bisexual and Trans gender)  magazine  Roopban has been killed in the latest of a series of horrific murders in the country .

Xulhaz Mannan was one of two hacked to death in the attack in the capital, Dhaka, police said. He is better known for his gay-rights activism.

Mohammad Iqbal, the officer in charge of the local police station, confirmed to the Guardian that about six people entered the house in the Kalabagan district and hacked Mannan and his friend to death. Two other people were seriously injured.

Mannan, 35, was the editor of Roopbaan, the country’s only magazine for the LGBT community and who also worked at the US development agency USAID.

A security guard of the house told t  that five to six youths identifying themselves as courier company officials came to the house around 5pm.

He said: “But half an hour later, I heard shouting and shooting sound from the flat and went to look into the incident.”

“The assailants then attacked me with knives,” said the security guard.

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Marcia Bernicat, the United States ambassador to Bangladesh, condemned the killing. “I am devastated by the brutal murder of Xulhaz Mannan and another young Bangladeshi,” she said.

“We abhor this senseless act of violence and urge the government of Bangladesh in the strongest terms to apprehend the criminals behind these murders,” she added.

Mannan had been behind an annual Rainbow Rally, which since 2014 has been held on 14 April Bengali New Year. But this year police did not allow them to arrange Rainbow Rally at Bengali New year and arrested four gay activist at the eve of rally preparation in the city.

Roopbaan was launched in 2014 to promote greater acceptance of LGBT communities in Bangladesh.

Rupoban

Reports of the latest death add to a series of horrific murders of bloggers and academics in the country. It comes two days after a 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.

But  early hours of the day Home minister Assaduzzana Khan Kamal said,` murders of a Rajshahi University professor and a former prisons guard near the Gazipur jail are ‘isolated’ incidents that should not make the people feel insecure.’

Author: Harun Ur Rashid

 

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