2017-05-21 18:49:08 UTC
being gay, a criminal offence in the Muslim-majority country,
and plan to charge them with drug possession, an official has
A commander of the Rapid Action Battalion, an elite police unit
that made the arrests, said the suspects, mostly students aged
20-30 years, had traveled from across the country and were
picked up in a raid on a community centre at Keraniganj, outside
the nation's capital, early Friday.
Zahangir Hossain Matobbar said they recovered illegal drugs and
condoms in their possession and plan to charge them with drug
offenses and not homosexuality because they were detained before
they engaged in sex.
The agency also arrested the owner of the community centre where
the suspects used to gather every two months and stay overnight
Last year, suspected militants killed a leading LGBT activist
and his friend in Dhaka.
The 35-year-old Xulhaz Mannan, a USAID official, was hacked to
death in April last year at his home. He had founded the
country's only LGBT magazine Roopbaan and was a leading
organiser of gays, who are ostracised in Bangladesh.
Since then, many of the gays and lesbians have left the country
after they received death threats. Many still live double lives
to avoid reprisals.
Either reason is sufficient to execute them. Give them a fair
trial and hang them in the morning.