Asia - Pacific

Suspects held in Bangladesh Rohingya leader's killing

Mohibullah, head of Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights, was gunned down in Cox’s Bazar on Wednesday

Md. Kamruzzaman   | 03.10.2021
Suspects held in Bangladesh Rohingya leader's killing

DHAKA, Bangladesh

Bangladeshi authorities have detained four suspects in connection with the recent murder of a Rohingya leader in Cox’s Bazar, police said on Sunday.

The suspects have been identified as Md. Selim, Shawkat, Abdus Salam, and Ziaur Rahman, all members of the Rohingya community, a police official told Anadolu Agency.

They were apprehended in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps between Friday morning and Saturday night, according to Md. Rafiqul Islam, deputy police superintendent for the district.

“Our investigations are still ongoing. We are being very careful to make sure that we catch the real culprits and no innocent person is harassed,” he said.

Mohibullah, head of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights, was gunned down outside his office in the Kutupalong camp in Cox’s Bazar on Wednesday.​​​​​​​

He was a popular figure among the over 1.1 million Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh, most of whom fled a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in August 2017.

A former teacher in Myanmar, he was known as “Master Mohibullah” among the refugees. His brother lodged a murder case at the police station on Thursday.

International rights group have condemned the murder and called for an immediate action against the perpetrators.

Saad Hammadi, Amnesty International's South Asia campaigner, said violence at the Rohingya refugee camps has been a growing problem.

“Armed groups operating drug cartels have killed people and held hostages. The authorities must take immediate action to prevent further bloodshed,” he said.

Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at the Human Rights Watch, said Mohibullah wanted a safe and dignified return of the refugees, and his "killing is a stark demonstration of the risks faced by those in the camps who speak up for freedom and against violence."

Bangladesh's Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said Mohibullah’s killers must be brought to justice.

“Some groups with vested interests killed him," he was quoted as saying by the Foreign Ministry.

Turkey has also condemned the “heinous murder” and called for “necessary steps to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

“We wish Allah’s mercy upon the deceased, extend our sincere condolences to his loved ones and share the grief of the brotherly Rohingya Muslims,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

“Turkey will continue its strong support for the protection of the rights of Rohingya Muslims,” it added.

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