Hindu American Leaders Demand Justice and Accountability after Murder of LGBT Leader in Bangladesh

Washington, D.C. (April 25, 2016) - The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) expressed its deep condolences for Xulhaz Mannan, the editor of Roopbaan, a Dhaka-based LGBT publication, and an employee of the U.S. embassy, who was the latest victim of religiously motivated violence in Bangladesh. According to media reports, Mannan and another Roopban contributor Tonoy Majumdar, were attacked in their flat by several men posing as couriers.

“This latest attack is emblematic of the deteriorating rule of law fueled largely by Islamists in Bangladesh,” said Samir Kalra, Esq., HAF Senior Director and Human Rights Fellow. “It is imperative for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her administration to address the roots of extremism to protect the safety of their citizens, rather than fanning the flames of radical ideologies. Ultimately, it will take support in intelligence gathering, law enforcement training, and de-radicalization programs from the international community for the government of Bangladesh to address religious extremism effectively.”

This latest attack comes only two weeks after a secular activist, Nazimmudin Samad, was hacked to death in Dhaka, and days after Prof. Rezaul Karim Siddique, a proponent of Bengali culture, was killed in Rajshahi. Earlier this year, a Hindu priest was beheaded in a temple compound in Panchagarh. All of these attacks have been claimed by militants for the Islamic State.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard introduced H.Res. 396 in July 2015, calling on the US government to recognize the ongoing threats to religious minorities and secularists.

“We call upon the US House of Representatives to bring this resolution to vote, sending a strong signal that extremism in Bangladesh will not be tolerated,” said Jay Kansara, HAF Director of Government Relations.

A broad-based coalition of interfaith and religious freedom advocacy groups supporting H.Res 396 has further called for the resolution to be amended to include the murder of Mannan, as well as the many other killings in recent months that have targeted religious minorities and secularists.