May 16, 2016

Arrest on Hacking to Death of Gay Activist in Bangladesh


                                                                          
Members of Bangladesh Police Detective Branch (DB) escort a man, center, whom they have identified as Shariful Islam Shihab, a former member of the banned Islamic group Harkatul Jihad as they walk him in front of the media in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, May 15, 2016. Police said Sunday that they have arrested Shihab, a suspected Muslim militant for his alleged involvement in the killing last month of a gay rights activist and his friend in the capital. (AP Photo)


Members of Bangladesh Police Detective Branch (DB) escort a man, center, whom they have identified as Shariful Islam Shihab, a former member of the banned Islamic group Harkatul Jihad as they walk him in front of the media in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, May 15, 2016. Police said Sunday that they have arrested Shihab, a suspected Muslim militant for his alleged involvement in the killing last month of a gay rights activist and his friend in the capital. (AP Photo) 

[Original story of murder on Gay Activist-click here]



Officers identified the suspect as Shariful Islam Shibab, a former member of a banned Islamic group, Harkatul Jihad, who joined another militant group, Ansarullah Bangla Team, in mid-2015.
Munirul Islam, head of a newly formed police counter-terrorism unit, told a news conference that Shibab was arrested in the south-western district of Kushtia based on evidence from the investigation.

The Bangladeshi branch of al Qaida had claimed the April 25 killing of Xulhaz Mannan, an employee of the US Agency for International Development, and his friend Tanay Majumder in the Bangladeshi capital.
Only one of 15 such killings has been prosecuted since 2013.

Mr Islam said 37-year-old Shihab allegedly killed Mr Mannan because he promoted the gay community's cause through a magazine as an editor.
He said Shihab told police during questioning that he took part in stabbing Mr Mannan and Mr Majumder as ordered by his group's high command.

Police said earlier that they had identified at least five people who took part in the killings from video footage collected from buildings near the crime scene in the Kalabagan district.
"We are checking the footage to determine whether Shihab is visible there," Mr Islam said.

Mr Mannan was a cousin of former foreign minister Dipu Moni, of the governing Awami League party.

Online Editors
independent.ie

Bangladesh police chiefs have said their murders have the hallmarks of local Islamists, while the secular government has blamed the opposition.
Several members of homegrown Ansarullah Bangla Team were convicted last year over the 2013 murder of atheist blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider.
- Monk murder -
The arrest comes after an elderly Buddhist monk was found hacked to death on Saturday in a temple in the southeastern district of Bandarban -- the seventh such killing since the start of last month.
Two Muslim Rohingya refugees, who fled persecution in Myanmar, and a member of the Chak ethnic community to which the monk belonged are being held for questioning over his murder, local police inspector Anisur Rahman told AFP.
Suspected Islamists have been blamed or claimed responsibility for the scores of murders carried out since last year, as fear grips the Muslim-majority nation over the rising violence.
Last year four secular bloggers and a publisher were hacked to death, while Christians, Hindus and Sufi, Ahmadi and Shiite Muslims have also been killed since.
No one has yet been convicted over those deaths, despite a number of arrests.
The Islamic State group has claimed a number of the killings, but authorities insist there is no evidence of the group's presence in Bangladesh.
A long-running political crisis in Bangladesh has radicalised opponents of the government and analysts say Islamist extremists pose a growing danger.                                           

The question we most try to answer now is:  Is there going to be a prosecution for this hideous crime, which for killings of the LGBT community is not rare. The suspect was caught in record time thanks to the pressure from the US, UN and others. Let’s hope the process continues and that the government can prove if this is the right suspect and if he acted alone and if not, where are the others?

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