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Dhaka Tribune

US Secretary of State Blinken remembers Xulhaz

The LGBT rights activist was hacked to death at his Kalabagan home along with a friend on April 25, 2016

Update : 26 Apr 2021, 03:08 PM

US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken has remembered the role of human rights activist Xulhaz Mannan and his fellow advocate Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy for their courageous work on behalf of marginalized communities in Bangladesh.

“On the anniversary of his death, we stand with Xulhaz’s family and friends and honour his commitment to creating a world in which all can live with dignity,” Blinken said in a statement.

Xulhaz served for nine years as the protocol specialist for the US Embassy in Dhaka before joining USAID Bangladesh’s Office of Democracy and Governance.

Blinken said Xulhaz helped lead programs to promote human rights.

Xulhaz, who was also the editor of a LGBT magazine, was brutally hacked to death at his Kalabagan home along with his friend Tonoy on April 25, 2016.

Police on July 28, 2019 pressed charges against eight members of militant outfit Ansar Al Islam in the case filed over the murders.

The case is now pending trial at the Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal of Dhaka. So far, the court has recorded statements of 15 prosecution witnesses.

The US secretary of state said Xulhaz’s selfless dedication to advancing the principles of diversity, acceptance, and inclusion exemplified the best of Bangladesh, as did his generosity of spirit, devotion to family, and dedication to the community.

“Today, we honour his fearless advocacy on behalf of his fellow Bangladeshis and recommit to upholding the dignity and human rights of people around the world,” he added.

Blinken in a tweet on Sunday also said: “Five years ago, human rights activist Xulhaz Mannan was murdered for his courageous advocacy on behalf of marginalized communities in Bangladesh.

“Today, we honor Xulhaz's legacy and recommit to upholding the dignity and human rights of people around the world.”

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