Editor of Bangladesh's only LGBTI magazine murdered

Xulhaz Mannan.

Suspected Islamist militants hacked to death a leading gay rights activist and a friend in an apartment in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, on April 25, TeleSUR English reported that day.

The killings came just two days after a university professor was murdered in similar fashion in an attack claimed by ISIS.

Xulhaz Mannan, an editor of Rupban, Bangladesh's first magazine for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community, was attacked along with a friend with sharp weapons, Dhaka city police said. A security guard was also injured in the attack. Witnesses said the attackers shouted “Allahu Akbar” as they fled the scene.

TeleSUR English said the nation of 160 million people has seen a surge in violent attacks over the past few months in which liberal activists, members of minority Muslim sects and other religious groups have been targeted.

The article said five secular bloggers and a publisher have been hacked to death in Bangladesh since February last year. A group affiliated with al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the killing of a liberal Bangladeshi blogger earlier this month.

Farida Iqbal, LGBTI rights activist and Socialist Alliance candidate for the Western Australian Senate, told Green Left Weekly: “The brutal murder of Bangladeshi LGBTI activist Xulhaz Mannan and activist Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy by Islamic fundamentalists is an appalling hate crime. He was an exemplary rainbow warrior and joins Ugandan gay activist David Kato in the ranks of our fallen heroes.

“Mannan's murder needs to be condemned in the strongest fashion by all queer activists and governments. Our government remains silent over this crime, just as they refused to condemn the Indonesian government for whipping up homophobia and bigotry against the LGBTI community in January this year.”

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