Bangladesh vows justice in killing of gay activist
April 26, New Delhi: The Bangladeshi prime minister has vowed to hunt down and prosecute those who fatally stabbed two men, including a gay rights activist who also worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development, and accused the country's opposition party and allied militants of orchestrating the attack, reports said.
The killings Monday night were the latest in an ongoing wave of attacks claimed by radical Islamists and targeting the country's outspoken atheists, moderates and foreigners. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
The victims were identified as USAID employee Xulhaz Mannan, who previously worked as a U.S. Embassy protocol officer, and his friend, theater actor Tanay Majumder. Mannan was also an editor of Bangladesh's first gay rights magazine, Roopbaan, as well as a cousin of former Foreign Minister Dipu Moni of the governing Awami League party, the Associated Press reported.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the "barbaric" murders, issuing a statement from Washington, D.C. that said the U.S. government would support Bangladeshi efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Police have not made any arrests in their investigation, according to Sub Inspector Shamim Ahmed. He did not say if any suspects had been identified, according to media reports.
Crime scene investigators recovered a mobile phone and bag apparently left by the attackers at the scene, according to Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina blamed religious radicals in Bangladesh, specifically the Jamaat-e-Islami group and their political allies, the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party.
The Oslo Times