US government: Bangladesh must act over murder of gay journalist
US Secretary of State John Kerry has told Bangladesh to take action after the brutal murder of a gay activist.
Xulhaz Mannan, the editor of Bangladesh’s only LGBT magazine Roopban, was hacked to death alongside friend Mahbub Tonoy last week.
An affiliate of terrorist group Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the murder and posted a gory video appearing to show the man’s body.
But in her official statement on the murder, Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina blamed the country’s main opposition party, claiming they have links with militants behind a wave of killings.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has now contacted PM Hasina and urged her to ensure the incidents are thoroughly investigated. Mr Mannan had previously worked at the US embassy.
The US State Department confirmed: “Secretary Kerry called Bangladesh Prime Minister Hasina on April 28 to offer U.S. support for the investigation into the attack that killed human rights advocate and U.S. Embassy employee Xulhas Mannan, along with Tonmoi Mahbub, earlier this week.
“The Secretary also condemned other incidents in a recent spate of violence.
“The Secretary urged Prime Minister Hasina to ensure a thorough investigation of all of these incidents, and to redouble law enforcement efforts to prevent future attacks and protect those who are at risk.”
An earlier statement said: “We offer our full support to the government of Bangladesh as they investigate these murders and bring the perpetrators to justice.
“We remain committed to the principles that were so important to Xulhaz, and we promise to support all those who work on behalf of tolerance and human rights in Bangladesh and around the world.”