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Activists demand justice for murder of bisexual man in Bangladesh

Activists demand justice for murder of bisexual man in Bangladesh

Bisexual architect was killed for refusing to pay blackmailers.

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Imtiaz Mohammad Bhuiyan (Photo courtesy of JusticeMakers Bangladesh)
Imtiaz Mohammad Bhuiyan (Photo courtesy of JusticeMakers Bangladesh)

Bisexual architect Imtiaz Mohammad Bhuiyan was lured into a blackmail scheme and murdered in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka in March. Human rights advocates are calling for justice.

JusticeMakers Bangladesh issued the following press release, which has been lightly edited for clarity, in the wake of the murder:

Bangladeshi human rights organization JusticeMakers Bangladesh is gravely concerned about the recent murder of bisexual architect Imtiaz Mohammad Bhuiyan, who was beaten to death in Dhaka in March 2023 after refusing to pay blackmailers.

JusticeMakers Bangladesh calls upon the government to ensure a fair and transparent trial for the accused, after a quick and transparent investigation, and to take steps to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.

According to news published on different media and information received from reliable sources, Imtiaz Mohammad Bhuiyan went missing after leaving his house on March 7.

Later, his body was recovered in the Munshiganj district in central Dhaka on March 8 and buried the next day as an unidentified person. The victim’s wife, Fahmida Akhter, filed a general diary at Kalabagan Police Station on March 8. Later, his wife and other relatives identified the body after it was dug out in the presence of Executive Magistrate Najmus Sama and police on March 21.

Harun-or-Rashid, additional commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police and Detective Branch chief, said that Imtiaz was lured into a trap set by the perpetrators on the gay cruising app Grindr.

Harun-or-Rashid alleges that Imtiaz developed a relationship with a man named Alif through the app. Alif allegedly asked Imtiaz to meet him at an apartment at Kalabagan Crescent Road on March 7. There, four men, Millat, Anwar, Megh and apartment owner Arafat caught Imtiaz in an indecent posture and recorded it. They allegedly demanded a huge amount of money from Imtiaz, but he refused to pay any amount. They allegedly beat him up mercilessly, resulting in his death. They allegedly took the body to Megh’s private car and dumped it in a bush near Nawabganj Highway Road in Kamarkanda Village of Sirajdikhan Thana area of Munshiganj district.

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Paribagh footbridge in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Photo courtesy of Dhaka Daily)

On March 26, police arrested Millat, Anwar, and Megh in Sirajganj, Manikganj, and Narayanganj in relation to the murder. They are still trying to arrest the other two, Arafat and Alif.

Advocate Shahanur Islam, founder and secretary-general of JusticeMakers Bangladesh, as well as a prominent human rights defender in Bangladesh, strongly condemns the murder of architect Imtiaz Mohammad Bhuiyan and asks for the safety and security of the LGBTQ+ community in Bangladesh.

JusticeMakers Bangladesh is committed to fighting against all forms of discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression.

Islam believes that every individual has the right to live without fear of violence or persecution, and that the government has a responsibility to protect all its citizens. He says he appreciates the efforts of the law enforcement agencies in arresting three of the perpetrators and urges them to bring the remaining two to justice as soon as possible.

He also urges the government to take proactive steps to promote and protect the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, including by enacting laws that protect them from discrimination and violence and calls on civil society organizations and the media to play a more active role in raising awareness about the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and promoting tolerance and acceptance towards them.

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