Bangladesh charge 29 with murder of prominent Rohingya leader

Dhaka, June 13 (EFE) – Bangladesh police Monday charged 29 Rohingyas with the 2021 murder of a prominent refugee leader in the country.

Mohibullah was shot dead in a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar.

“Our Investigation officer filed the charge sheet in the court of a judicial magistrate in Cox’s Bazar,” Mohammad Ali, the officer in charge of the Ukhiya police station, told EFE.

Ali said 15 of the accused in the charge sheet were in jail, and 14 others remained fugitives.

Seven of the arrested Rohingyas confessed to their involvement in the murder of Mohibullah, who became a prominent representative of the refugees during visits to the camp by high-level rights defenders.

Ali said all the accused are Rohingyas and suspected members of an armed gang.

Family members of Mohibullah blamed Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) for the murder.

However, Bangladesh does not recognize the ARSA presence on its soil.

Mohibullah, who headed the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARSPH), was shot dead by an armed group in his office at the camp on Sep.29, 2021.

He was a teacher in Myanmar’s Rakhine State when the army launched an offensive against the mainly Muslim Rohingyas in August 2017, following attacks on security checkpoints by alleged insurgents.

Like many of his fellow Rohingyas, he fled to Bangladesh, where he and several hundred volunteers founded the ARSPH in late 2017.

He traveled to Geneva in 2019 to address the United Nations Human Rights Council about the plight of the Rohingyas.

His killing triggered a spat of violence in the camp.

At least six Rohingyas were killed when gunmen attacked an Islamic seminary in the early hours on Oct.22.

UN refugee agency UNHCR said it has helped move some refugees to “safe locations” following the killing of Mohibullah.

The ARSA is a suspect behind a series of 2017 attacks in the northern Rakhine province of Myanmar, following which the army launched a brutal retaliatory campaign that led to an exodus of the Rohingyas to Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is home to around 926,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, including some 728,000 who escaped the wave of violence and persecution by the military in August 2017 in a campaign that triggered allegations of ethnic cleansing and genocidal intent. EFE


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