Bangladesh LGBT editor hacked to death, NGMA responds

The murder of Xulhaz Mannan, editor of the Bangladesh LGBT publication Roopbaan, along with a friend, Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy, has caught worldwide attention and daily criticism of the treatment of LGBT people in the Muslim dominated country. The US Ambassador to Bangladesh has condemned the killing, and most recently, the National Gay Media Association spoke out against the heinous attack.

Some background on the death of Mannan via Wall Street Journal:

Xulhaz Mannan, 35 years old, one of his country’s best-known gay-rights activists, and a friend, named as Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy, were killed in Mr. Mannan’s home in the capital, Dhaka, police said. Witnesses said six men forced their way into the apartment after pretending to deliver a package.

Militants armed with machetes have killed at least six secular bloggers and activists in Bangladesh since 2014. Extremist groups have accused the bloggers of ridiculing Islam and promoting homosexuality and promiscuity.

Police officials said Mr. Mannan and his friend, named as Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy, appeared to have been shot and hacked with machetes.

The National Gay Media Association (NGMA), which consists of twelve legacy LGBT publications across the U.S., condemned the attack in a statement:

The National Gay Media Association today joins with the world community in condemning the senseless and brutal killing yesterday of Xulhaz Mannan, the editor of Roopbaan, an LGBTI publication in Bangladesh.

 Mannan also worked at the US Embassy.

 The National Gay Media Association, representatives of the major legacy LGBTQ publications in the United States of America, deplore the unconscionable murder, and call upon Bangladesh officials to fulfill their promise to track down and prosecute the assailants.  

 “We are a voice for LGBTQ people everywhere,” the NGMA stated, “but it is most important that we be heard when journalists anywhere find press freedoms threatened by violent acts that are universally despicable.”