Four people have been arrested for murdering two LGBTQ activists in Bangladesh

Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy were hacked to death in a flat back in 2016


Words: Steve Brown

Four people have been arrested for murdering LGBT magazine editor Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy back in 2016.

In 2016, Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy, who worked at Bangladesh's first and only LGBT magazine, were hacked to death by machete-wielding Islamic militants at Xulhaz’s apartment in Dhaka.

It was reported that a group of people entered Mannan’s flat posing as couriers and directly took part in the killings.

They were seen running away from the flat on CCTV and allegedly stabbed a policeman who tried to stop them fleeing.

At the time, Ansar al Islam – the so-called Bangladesh chapter of al-Qaeda – took responsibility for the murders claiming the two men were practicing and promoting homosexuality.

Now, over the weekend deputy commissioner of Bangladesh police, Mohibul Islam Khan, told AFP four of the eight members of the extremist group have been arrested.

He said: “Among then, four have been arrested and the rest are still at large.”

Last year, Mannan and Tonoy’s friend Mazhural Islam was honoured with an Attitude Pride Award for continuing the fight for justice following the brutal homophobic murder of two of his close friends and fellow activists.