Dhaka, April 26: In a horrifying incident, two gay rights activists in Bangladesh were hacked to death for their ideologies. The incident happened on Monday night at a 7-storied apartment in Dhaka. Dhaka metropolitan police spokesperson Maruf Hossain said that at least 6 men entered th ebuilding in the guise of delivery boy and entered the apartment with machetes.
He told journalists, "Unidentified attackers entered an apartment at Kalabagan and hacked two people to death by machetes. Another person was injured."
Private Station Jamuna TV said that the assailants cried "Allahu Akbar" while attacking the men. They fled while firing blanks to ward people off.
Roopbaan, the country's only LBGT magazine identified one of the victims as their editor and gay rights activist Xulhaz Mannan.
This magazine promotes the rights of LGBT Bangladeshis in a country where gay relationships are a punishable offence. The US informed that Mannan had also been working at the American development agency USAID in Bangladesh.
US ambassador Marcia Bernicat said, "I am devastated by the brutal murder of Xulhaz Mannan and another young Bangladeshi."
She also added, "We abhor this senseless act of violence and urge the government of Bangladesh in the strongest terms to apprehend the criminals behind these murders."
In the wake of the incident, USAID chief Gayle Smith called for the attackers to be brought to justice, describing Mannan as a "righteous" person and willing to fight for what he believed in.
He, along with few of his friends had started the magazine Roopbaan and had also started a rainbow parade that is held every year on April 14, which is a Bengali New Year. Police banned the parade this year for security measures and also held 4 participants who tried to hold the event anyway. Meanwhile, ahead of the parade, Mannan had told media groups that he was receiving threat messages from Islamists online.
"They have even set up an online group to threaten us," he said.