Bangladeshi gay-right activists working for U.S. embassy hacked to death

Bangladeshi gay-right activists working for U.S. embassy hacked to death

Dhaka: Two people including a leading gay rights activist have been hacked to death on Monday at an apartment in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police spokesman Maruf Hossain Sorder said. “Unidentified attackers entered an apartment at
Kalabagan and hacked two people to death. Another person was injured.”

Xulhaz Mannan, 35, an editor of Rupban, Bangladesh’s first magazine for gay, bisexual and transgender people, and his friend was attacked with sharp weapons.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said the United States was “outraged” by the “barbaric attack.” He called Mannan, “a beloved member of our embassy family and a courageous advocate for LGBTI rights – human rights, actually.”

A British photographer Tonoy who knew Mr Mannan and the other victim, said. Homosexuality is technically illegal in Bangladesh and remains a highly sensitive issue in society.

Mannan and his friend were openly gay and believed that if more gay Bangladeshis came out then the country would have to accept them, said Tonoy.

“Both were extremely gentle, non-violent and aware that being openly gay and active in their work was a personal danger,” he said.

The killings come two days after a liberal and free- thinking university professor was hacked to death in a similar fashion in the northwestern city of Rajshahi, claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.

But the government has denied that Islamic State or al Qaeda groups have a presence in the country and said homegrown Islamist radicals are behind the attacks.