By Louis Chan
AsAmNews National Correspondent
The brutal murder of a US Embassy worker and LGBT activist in Bangladesh has grabbed the attention of Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) and seven other House members.
Xulhaz Mannan was hacked to death April 24 along with his friend Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy in Dhaka, Bangladesh by six machete-wielding men.
In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, Honda and seven other House members urged Kerry to do everything in his power to see that the Bangladeshi government bring the killers to justice.
“Through his work at USAID and in the US Embassy, Xulhaz was part of the American mission family in Dhaka, and his brutal murder was a harsh blow to the American community,” the letter stated. “Xulhaz was a prominent LGBT advocate and editor of Roopbaan, Bangladesh’s first and only LGBT magazine. Bangladesh’s government needs to publicly condemn this attack as a hate crime against the LGBT community and introduce policies to decriminalize homosexuality in order to not contribute to an environment that could inadvertently lend justification to more violence against the LGBT community. These murders continue a pattern of targeted attacks in Bangladesh on advocates of freedom of speech and expression. In the last 14 months since the public daytime murder of American writer Dr. Avijit Roy, there have been over a dozen similar gruesome murders in Bangladesh of intellectuals and advocates of civil rights and freedom of speech.”
Also signing the letters were Rep Ted Lieu (D-CA), Rep Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI),Rep Grace Meng (D-NY), Rep Eliot Engel (D-NY), Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Rep Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Rep Zoe Lofgren (D-CA).