An international representative of Rohingya refugees was shot dead by unidentified gunmen late Wednesday night at a Bangladesh camp.
Mohibullah, who is in his 40s, was a teacher who emerged as a prominent refugee leader and spokesman representing the Muslim ethnic group at international meetings. He visited the White House in 2019 for a meeting on religious freedom with then-President Donald Trump and spoke about the suffering and persecution of Rohingyas in Myanmar.
In the same year, he was severely criticized by Bangladeshi media when he led a massive rally of 200,000 refugees to mark the second anniversary of the crackdown by Myanmar’s military, which led to the fleeing of some 700,000 Rohingya, including Mohibullah, to neighboring Bangladesh. .
Naimul Haque, commander of the Armed Police Battalion in Cox’s Bazar, said unidentified assailants shot Mohibullah at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia in Cox’s Bazar district. He was taken to the hospital where he was declared brought dead.
No group has claimed responsibility and it was not immediately clear who was behind the attack.
Human Rights Watch described Mohibullah as an important voice for the Rohingya community. “He always defended the rights of the Rohingyas to a safe and dignified return and spoke in decisions concerning their lives and future. His killing is a clear demonstration of the risks faced by those in the camps who fight against freedom and violence. Speaks,” Rights Group South Asia Director Meenakshi Ganguly said in a statement.
“Mohibullah’s death undermines not only the struggle of Rohingya refugees for greater rights and protection in refugee camps, but also their efforts to return safely to their homes in Myanmar. Bangladesh authorities should immediately investigate the killing of Mohibullah and other attacks on Rohingya activists in the camps.
Amnesty International urged Bangladeshi authorities and the United Nations refugee agency to work together to ensure the safety of people in the camps, including refugees, activists and humanitarian activists from both the Rohingya and local communities, many of whom have made efforts for their own safety. concerns shared.
“His murder has a terrifying impact on the entire community,” said Saad Hammadi, Amnesty International’s South Asia campaigner.
In all, Bangladesh is harboring more than 1.1 million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar after waves of past persecution.