Xulhaz Mannan

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Xulhaz Mannan
Born12 October 1976
Died25 April 2016(2016-04-25) (aged 39)
Known forLGBTQ activism in Bangladesh

Xulhaz Mannan (Bengali: জুলহাজ মান্নান; 12 October 1976 – 25 April 2016) was an employee of the United States embassy in Dhaka and the founder of Bangladesh's first and only LGBT-themed magazine Roopbaan.[1] He was killed in his apartment along with another LGBT activist Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy in a machete attack by Islamist extremists.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Mannan's mother is a retired education ministry officer, and his father, who died several years ago was actively involved with the Bangladeshi independence movement in 1971.[3]

Mannan was born on 12 October 1976.[4] He completed his SSC and HSC (1993) at Dhaka Residential Model College. He was involved in cultural activities from junior school. He then completed his B.Com at City College, Dhaka. Later he studied at Dhaka University and finished with honors in International Relations. In 2003 he received a master's degree of Social Sciences in Peace and Conflict Studies.[5]


He started his career in MGH group, and later joined the US embassy, Dhaka, as a protocol officer of the ambassador till 2015 and then switched to US Aid in September 2015.[1] He was involved in many activities outside work. He was a script writer for a NTV production at the very beginning. Photography, travel, hiking, event organizing were some of his hobbies.

Mannan was founder and publisher of Roopbaan, the only magazine for the LGBT community in Bangladesh launched in 2014.[6][7] He had worked in the human rights sector especially for the LGBT community in Bangladesh.[8] He successfully arranged a "rainbow rally" in Dhaka on April 2014, however the rally was canceled in 2016 on police instruction as Islamic groups threatened to kill anyone taking part.[7]

On 27 April 2016, Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina criticized his writings by comparing them with adult content.[9]


He had received death threats after trying to organise a youth LBGT "Rainbow Rally" in early April 2016.[9] Mannan was killed in his apartment along with LGBT activist Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy in a stabbing attack shortly after he had posted pictures of himself on the Internet and openly declaring he was gay.[10] It is believed it was the open declaration of his sexuality which gave the go ahead for the extremist group that killed him. A witness reported five men leaving the scene chanting "Allahu Akbar" ("Allah is Great").[3] Ansar-al-Islam, an Al-Qaida-linked group claimed responsibility for the murders stating as he had himself confirmed his sexuality he needed to be killed according to shariah law.[11][12]

In May 2019, Eight extremists were charged by Bangladesh police for the murders. Four of the eight are in custody and police are still searching for the others.[13][14]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Gay Activist Killed" (6 May 2016). The Week. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  2. ^ Al-Mahmood, Syed Zain (26 April 2016). "Editor of Bangladesh Gay Magazine Hacked to Death in His Home". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Editor of Bangladesh's first gay rights magazine stabbed to death". Fox News. Associated Press. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Bangladesch: LGBT-Aktivist brutal ermordet". Queeramnesty.ch (in German). May 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  5. ^ "Statement by USAID administrator Gayle Smith on the death of foreign service national Xulhaz Mannan". US Aid. Archived from the original on 27 April 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  6. ^ Hadi Hussain. "Islamist Extremists Weren't the Only Killers Of My Friend Xulhaz Mannan". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  7. ^ a b Gani, Saad Hammadi Aisha (25 April 2016). "Founder of Bangladesh's first and only LGBT magazine killed". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  8. ^ "Confronting the comfortable closet in Bangladesh, article by Xulhaz Mannan in Pink Pages, India's National LGBT Magazine". Pink Pages. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Campaign of terror against Bangladesh's liberal voices". The Economist. 27 April 2016. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  10. ^ "Bangladesh LGBT editor hacked to death". BBC News. 25 April 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Editor Of Bangladesh's Only LGBT Magazine Is Hacked To Death". NPR.org. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  12. ^ Eliott C. McLaughlin; Don Melvin; Tiffany Ap. "Al Qaeda claims #Bangladesh LGBT murders". CNN. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  13. ^ "Bangladesh charges eight over murder of LGBT+ activists". Reuters. 13 May 2019.
  14. ^ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/bangladesh-charges-extremists-over-gay-activist-murders-11526068
  15. ^ "Arrest Xulhaz Mannan killers, US Ambassador Bernicat asks Bangladesh government". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  16. ^ "LGBT editor hacked to death in Bangladesh by Islamist militants". Independent.ie. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  17. ^ "Kerry calls Hasina, demands justice for slain gay-rights activist Xulhaz". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  18. ^ Steele, Gloria (26 April 2021). "Statement from Gloria Steele on the Fifth Anniversary of the Murder Of Xulhaz Mannan - Statement by Acting Administrator Gloria Steele - U.S. Agency for International Development". www.usaid.gov.
  19. ^ Blinken, Antony (25 April 2021). "On the Fifth Anniversary of the Murder of Xulhaz Mannan". United States Department of State. United States Department of State.