Free shipping over $99 | Interest Free *no credit check* financing is available!

Extremists Brutally Murder LGBT Magazine Editor and Employee in Bangladesh

by Saurav Jung Thapa April 26, 2016

Two employees of Bangladesh’s first and only LGBTQ magazine, Roopbaan, have been brutally murdered in an apartment building in Dhaka, the country’s capital. The magazine’s editor Xulhaz Mannan, 35, and a colleague, Tanay Mojumdar, were hacked to death by a group of assailants. Mannan was an employee of USAID in Dhaka and a nephew of Bangladesh’s first female foreign minister.

According to the BBC, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina has until recently claimed that the group has no presence in the country. Additionally, CNN reported that a local affiliate of al Qaeda also claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that Manna and Mojumdar had been targeted because they were "pioneers of practicing and promoting homosexuality."

Mannan and his colleague’s murder are part of a wider campaign of violence by extremists in recent years targeting civil society leaders, Hindu and Christian religious minorities, atheists, foreigners and now LGBTQ people. An English professor in the city of Rajshahi and an atheist blogger in Dhaka were murdered in similar attacks in the last few weeks and a total of nine liberals have been murdered in the country this year.

U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat condemned the killings and urged the government “in the strongest terms to apprehend the criminals behind these murders.” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also condemned the “barbaric murders” and described Mannan as a “trusted colleague, beloved friend, and advocate for human rights and dignity in Bangladesh.” USAID Administrator Gayle Smith praised Mannan’s work to deepen political understanding throughout the country and called on the “cowardly attackers” to be brought to justice. The U.S. National Security Council also issued a statement deploring the murders.

“HRC joins the international community in mourning the death of Xulhaz Mannan. His death follows a worrying pattern of attacks targeting secular activists, religious minorities, activists and academics by extremist Islamic groups,” HRC Global Director Ty Cobb said. "The government of Bangladesh needs to take immediate measures to end these attacks and end the sense of impunity among attackers by arresting and bringing them to justice.”

Bangladesh is one of several South Asian countries that continue to criminalize LGBTQ people using an archaic British colonial-era law known as Section 377. Despite the presence of several LGBTQ rights organizations in the country, sexual and gender minorities in the country face severe social and economic challenges and these murders are likely to add to the challenges.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families and friends and the Bangladeshi LGBTQ community. 

Saurav Jung Thapa
Saurav Jung Thapa


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Think

Aaron Carter Opens Up About His Problems With Drug Addiction And Depression

by Derek de Koff October 24, 2016

In a rare television interview, 28-year-old Aaron Carter appeared on Oprah: Where Are They Now to open up about the host of well-documented personal problems that came along with his meteoric success as a pop star in the late ’90s. The precipitating event was the abrupt divorce of his parents; an announcement made mere minutes before he was set to [...]

Continue Reading →

Here’s The Photo That Nearly Got David McIntosh Banned From Instagram

by Dan Tracer October 24, 2016

When you have a body like this, you should probably just go ahead and do everything sans clothing. McIntosh knows: “If you appreciate your body, why would you want to cover it up? You might as well show it off.” Agreed. “I live in an apartment with buildings facing onto it, so when I walk [...]

Continue Reading →

DVD: “Independence Day: Resurgence,” “Front Cover,” “Michael Moore In Trumpland,” & More!

by Lawrence Ferber October 24, 2016

Aliens, exes, and culture clashes, oh my! It seems like a lot of worlds get shaken up in this week’s home entertainment picks. Those rascally world-conquering aliens are back in Roland Emmerich’s long-awaited sequel to ID4, Independence Day: Resurgence. A gay Asian-American New Yorker clashes, and finds sparks with, a closeted actor from Beijing in [...]

Continue Reading →