The Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday said the Bangladeshi authorities should immediately investigate the killings of two ‘LGBT human rights activists’.
Police found Xulhaz Mannan and Tonoy Mahbub hacked to death in an apartment in the capital on Monday evening.
The killings follow a spate of recent targeted attacks on writers, educators, bloggers, and editors who promote liberal and secular ideas that radical groups believe are against Islam, said the New York-based global rights body.
It observed the killings of Mannan and Mahbub bring to nine the number of liberals hacked to death in Bangladesh in 2016.
“The slaughter of two men advocating for the basic rights of Bangladesh’s beleaguered LGBT community should prompt a thorough investigation, aimed at prosecuting those responsible,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
“The government needs to protect activists and to call a halt to the impunity that links this chain of vicious murders.”
Human Rights Watch interviewed LGBT people in Bangladesh in recent months and found that they faced threats of violence, particularly after homophobic public comments by Islamic leaders.
“The massacre of two gay men in a private home demonstrates the need for the government to combat extremists preying on minorities,” Ganguly said.
“Dismissing sexual orientation as a non-issue effectively sanctions abuse of an already-marginalised community,” the HRW said.
Source: Prothom Alo