BANGLADESH — (05-13-19) — Police charge 8 members of an extremist group with ties to Al Qaeda. The suspects are charge in the murder of two LGBTQ activists hacked to death 3 years ago, police announced Monday.

Founder and publisher of the country’ first gay magazine Roopbaan, Xulhaz Mannan, and actor Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy, were killed at Mannan’s home in Dhaka back in April 2016, in an attack claimed by Ansar Al Islam, the regional arm of Al Qaeda.

Image: LGBT magazine editor, friend killed in Bangladesh

BANGLADESH LGBT Magazine Editor Killed

The suspects gained access to Mannan’s home by pretending to be delivery workers with a package.

“We have put charges against eight people,” said Masudur Rahman, deputy commissioner of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police. “All of them are members of the Ansar Al Islam.” said Rahman.

Bangledash Police Charge 8 Extremists for Hacking Death of 2 LGBTQ Activists

The deputy commissioner said that four of the eight are in custody and his deputies are still searching for the remaining four.

Xulhaz Mannan’s brother, Minhaz Mannan Emon, said the family hoped the arrests would bring justice. “We hope the killers get punished soon and we don’t have to wait for three more years for justice,” said Emon.

Gay sex is still illegal in Bangladesh and can garner a defendant life in prison.

It had been only two years since Xulhaz Mannan launched the gay magazine Roopbaan before he was killed. Mannan had received constant backlash and threats from members of the majority conservative Muslim country.  The country’s anti-LGBTQ laws criminalizing gay relations date back to the  British colonial era.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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