Editor of Bangladesh’s first and only LGBT magazine killed
The editor of Bangladesh’s only LGBT magazine has been killed in the latest of a series of horrific murders of bloggers and activists.
Xulhaz Mannan was one of two people hacked to death in an attack in the capital, Dhaka, police said, by a gang posing as couriers in order to gain access to his apartment in the Kalabagan area of the city.
Mohammad Iqbal, the officer in charge of the local police station, confirmed that about six people had entered the apartment building and hacked Mannan and his friend to death in a first-floor flat. Two other people were seriously injured.
“A person came with a box identifying himself as courier service personnel. Xulhaz took him upstairs to his flat,” Iqbal said.
Mannan, 35, was the editor of Roopbaan, the country’s only magazine for the LGBT community and also worked at the US development agency USAid. The magazine had been launched in 2014 to promote greater acceptance of LGBT communities in Bangladesh.
A security guard at Mannan’s building said the group had identified themselves as courier company officials when they arrived at around 5pm. “Half an hour later, I heard shouting and shooting sounds from the flat and went to look into the incident,” he told the Dhaka Times. “The assailants then attacked me with knives.”
Police said they had found the box, but did not divulge its contents.
Marcia Bernicat, the US ambassador to Bangladesh, condemned the killing. “I am devastated by the brutal murder of Xulhaz Mannan and another young Bangladeshi,” she said.
“We abhor this senseless act of violence and urge the government of Bangladesh in the strongest terms to apprehend the criminals behind these murders.”.