Wave of Hacking Deaths: Two More Slaughtered in Bangladesh 

Julhash Mannan, editor of LGBT magazine ‘Roopban’ and Tanay, ex-US embassy official were killed in Dhaka on Monday.

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File photo: Bangladeshi students protest seeking arrest of three motorcycle-riding assailants who hacked student activist Nazimuddin Samad to death in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Photo: AP)

The latest in a series of brutal attacks on bloggers and intellectuals in Bangladesh, two people, including a Bangladeshi LGBT magazine editor and an ex-US embassy official, have been hacked to death by unidentified killers, on Monday.

Julhash Mannan, one of the deceased, is a cousin of former foreign minister of Bangladesh, Dipu Moni.

Mannan and his friend Tanay were murdered at a flat in Dhaka’s Kalabagan area, the Dhaka Tribune reported, quoting deputy commissioner of Ramna division police, Abdul Baten.

Baten said armed assailants in the guise of courier company officials entered the flat around 7 pm and killed 35 year-old Mannan, editor of LGBT magazine Roopban, and Tanay, a former protocol officer of the US embassy.

They also wounded a security guard, who was undergoing treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital. Witnesses said the attackers shouted “Allahu Akbar” as they fled the scene.

Mannan along with his friends launched ‘Roopbaan’ two years ago. They also organized an annual rainbow rally since 2014 on 14 April, Bengali New Year. The rally was banned this year due to security reasons.

This incident occurred just two days after a Professor of English Literature from Rajshahi University in Bangladesh was hacked to death with machetes outside his own house.

Julhas Mannan(on the left). (Photo courtesy: Facebook/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/xulhaz.mannan">Xulhas Mannan</a>)
Julhas Mannan(on the left). (Photo courtesy: Facebook/Xulhas Mannan)

US Ambassador to Bangladesh, Marcia Bernicat condemned the killings, saying she was devastated by the brutal murders.

We abhor this senseless act of violence and urge the government of Bangladesh in the strongest terms to apprehend the criminals behind these murders.
Marcia Bernicat, US Ambassador

Another prominent blogger from the country, Imran H Sarker, who has launched protests against the killings of the bloggers and minorities in the Muslim-majority country, received a death threat from an unidentified caller from the UK.

Sarker, who is also the spokesperson of the Shahbag Movement which demanded a ban of Jamaat-e-Islami party from Bangladesh politics, said, “I am not afraid of such threats’.

Sarker recently grabbed the media focus by criticising the arrest of senior pro-opposition journalist Shafik Rehman, who has been accused of plotting abduction and murder of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s son in the US.

He also led the 2013 protests against Islamist leaders accused of war crimes, prompting authorities to fast-track their trials.

He was threatened last year too along with several others, including the Dhaka University Vice chancellor. He said the death threat was probably linked to his opposition to the government’s alleged crackdown on dissent, rather than the Islamic extremists.

There have been systematic assaults in Bangladesh over the past six months where minorities, secular bloggers, and foreigners have been specifically targeted. In 2015, four prominent secular bloggers were killed with machetes.

(With inputs from PTI and Reuters.)

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