Police in Bangladesh have reported that a prominent gay rights activist and editor of the country’s only LGBT magazine has been hacked to death.
BBC.com is today reporting that Xulhaz Mannan, who also worked for the US Embassy, and another man, identified by Bangladeshi media as Tanay Mojumdar, were hacked to death by attackers who entered a flat in Dharka.
Police have revealed that five or six young men posing as couriers gained access to Mannan’s second-floor flat before hacking both men to death with machetes.
Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the attack but the Bangladeshi government insists there is no ISIS presence in the country.
Both worked on the magazine Roopbaan, “a platform and publication promoting human rights and freedom to love in Bangladesh.” Mannan was the editor of the Dharka-based publication.
CNN reports that the Roopbaan staff had been receiving threats from various Islamist pages on Facebook for some time. Homosexuality is illegal in Bangladesh.
The US ambassador to Bangladesh condemned the killings. “I am devastated by the brutal murder of Xulhaz Mannan and another young Bangladeshi,” said US Ambassador Marcia Bernicat.
“We abhor this senseless act of violence and urge the government of Bangladesh in the strongest terms to apprehend the criminals behind these murders.”
The hacking murder comes just one day after another murder by machete in which 58-year-old English teacher Rezaul Karim Siddique was hacked to death while waiting on a bus. ISIS also claimed responsibility for Siddique’s death, saying he was slain “for calling to atheism.
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