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Sympathies to Bangladesh

We are shocked and saddened by the news from Bangladesh last week that two activists for the rights of gender and sexual minorities, Xulhaz Mannan and Tanay Mojumdar, were brutally attacked and killed. Xulhaz Mannan was a pioneering human rights activist and a founding editor of Roopbaan, a publication promoting human rights and freedom to love in Bangladesh – the only one of its kind in the country. Actor and activist Tanay Mojumdar chose to be open about his homosexuality despite its running contrary to laws and social conventions in Bangladesh. Both of them elected to remain in their home country despite the risks to their personal safety, choosing to campaign there for a more just society. Their loss is a grave blow to their community in Bangladesh and to like-minded people around the world.
At this trying time, the board of the National Queer Organisation of Iceland wishes to express its sincere sympathies to the loved ones of Mannan and Mojumdar and solidarity with the sexual and gender minority community in Bangladesh. The road to a more just world is often strewn with thorns, and in the wake of tragedies such as this, our solidarity in grief is tested.
Furthermore, the NQO condemns the use of violence to subjugate and silence minority groups and calls on the government of Bangladesh to protect its most vulnerable citizens and communities. The fact that an obsolete relic of British colonial legislation should still be used to punish same-sex attraction is a shameful situation that the NQO urges the Bangladeshi government to rectify immediately.

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