Bangladesh: Verdict Due Soon in Killing of Gay Rights Activists

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04/27/2021

A verdict is expected soon for eight suspects charged with murder over the killing of two Bangladeshi gay-rights activists who were hacked to death in a Dhaka apartment five years ago, officials said. But the work they did advocating for the sexual minority all but perished along with them, according to fellow campaigners. “The social movement to establish the rights of the LGBTQ people in Bangladesh after the Xulhaz-Tonoy murder has almost gone. Many of the activists have either gone into hiding or left the country,” an activist who asked to be identified only as Min told BenarNews. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was among those who marked the fifth anniversary of the killings of U.S. government employee Xulhaz Mannan and theater artist Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy, which prosecutors say were motivated by their activism on behalf of LGBTQ people. Xulhaz worked at the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka for nine years and later for the Bangladesh office of the United States Agency for International Development, where he helped lead programs to promote human rights. “Xulhaz’s selfless dedication to advancing the principles of diversity, acceptance and inclusion exemplified the best of Bangladesh,” Blinken said in a statement on April 25.

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