Bangladesh police detain two students in connection with murder of LGBT activist
Police say the have recovered ‘important evidence’ connected to the brutal murders.
Bangladesh police have detained a college student and claimed to have found some “important evidence” in connection with the savage killings of two gay rights activists at an apartment Dhaka.
Xulhaz Mannan – editor of LGBT magazine Roopban – and his friend Mahbub Tonoy, a university student, were slaughtered when Mannan’s apartment was raided yesterday.
“We have detained a college student last night for questioning,” a police spokesman said today.
Senior Assistant Police Commissioner Shibli Noman said that police found a bag used by the assailants, which is being treated as “important evidence” in their investigation.
“Police ASI Momtaz Ahmed chased the killers and managed to snatch a bag from them as they were fleeing the scene – during the scuffle the officer was also injured,” Noman added.
One police official said they found several items including a mobile phone in the bag.
No further details were released.
The killers are believed to have posed as couriers to gain access to the building, killing both Mannan and Tonoy and injuring a third person, according to the BBC.
Roopban is Bangladesh’s first and only magazine aimed at the LGBT community.
Manna – a prominent LGBT activist – had previously worked as a protocol officer for a former US ambassador to Bangladesh.
The US embassy were quick to condemn the “barbaric” murders and urged the Bangladeshi government to to show strength in light of the attacks.
“I am devastated by the brutal murder of Xulhaz Mannan and another young Bangladeshi,” US Ambassador Marcia Bernicat 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,” she added.
Speaking at the time of the magazine’s launch in 2014, Mr Mannan described it as a ‘major leap forward’ for the LGBT community in the country.
“The main reason for this publication is to promote love,” he said.
“Promoting love and promoting the right to love. The audience for love is huge and that’s who this is for.”
So-called Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility – but the Bangladeshi government insists there is no IS presence in the country.