Bangladesh arrests 27 men on suspicion of being gay

Angie Massey
May 20, 2017

The Rapid Action Battalion unit of the police force picked up the men, aged between 20 and 25, from a community centre in Dhaka's Keraniganj neighbourhood, " battalion commander, Jahangir Matubbor, said.

An elite police unit in Bangladesh has arrested at least 27 men in a raid of a private gay party. However, they have been charged for violating drug rules, not those pertaining to sexual conduct. "But we found contraband sex stimulating drugs from them", the official said. adding: "We planned to accuse them under drug-related laws since they were not instantly found to be engaged in unnatural sexual activities at the scene". Many still live double lives to avoid reprisals.

Past year in April, Xulhaz Mannan, editor of Bangladesh's only LGBT magazine, Roopbaan, was hacked to death at his Dhaka home along with a friend. He had founded the country's only LGBT magazine Roopbaan and was a leading organizer of gays, who are ostracized in Bangladesh.

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Heavily criticising this move, Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, a known human rights expert, told the Dhaka Tribune that law enforcement agencies should address any arrested parties for what they were arrested for, not for something else.

A 2016 report by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association found that same-sex sexual contact is a criminal offense in 74 countries, and that homosexuality is punishable by death in 12 nations.

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