New York, April 25, 2016–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the murder today of Bangladeshi journalist Xulhaz Mannan. The senior editor at gay rights magazine Roopbaan, who also worked at the U.S. Agency for International Development, was stabbed to death at his home in Dhaka alongside a friend, according to reports. A third person, described in some reports as a security guard, was injured, reports said. The attack follows the murders of four secular bloggers and a publisher by Islamic extremists in 2015, according to CPJ research.
“Authorities must immediately investigate the murder of Xulhaz Mannan, and bring the perpetrators to justice,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “Journalists and intellectuals are under attack in Bangladesh and the government has done little to end the murderous mayhem or to ensure the safety of at-risk groups.”
Roopbaan was founded in 2014 in an attempt to raise awareness of Bangladesh’s gay and transgender community. No one immediately claimed responsibility for today’s killing. Extremists have carried out a series of attacks on journalists, bloggers, and academics, according to reports. A university professor was hacked to death on April 23, and on April 6, unidentified assailants attacked the law student and blogger Nazimuddin Samad before shooting him dead in Dhaka, according to news reports.