Rohingyas mourn killing of exile leader in Bangladesh camp

Dhaka, Sep 30 (EFE).– Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh Thursday mourned the death of their prominent leader Mohibullah with rights groups calling for a probe into his assassination.

Mohibullah, the chairman of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARSPH), was shot dead Wednesday evening by unidentified gunmen at the Ukhiya refugee camp, police said.

“It is very sad for us. Our leaders are getting killed one by one. If this continues, how would we return to Myanmar?” Nadir Hossain, a Rohingya refugee, told EFE.

Illias Hossain, who lives in a camp in Teknaf, said Mohibulla’s leadership was vital in talks with different stakeholders.

“We don’t know details how he was killed but we are very sad,” Hossain told EFE.

Authorities said they deployed an additional force to beef up the security in the camps.

“The situation is calm now. Hopefully, there will be no further trouble,” police officer Masud Anwar told EFE.

Anwar suspected an internal feud might be the reason for the killing.

Amnesty International said the killing of the “leading representative” of the Rohingya community sent “a chilling effect across the entire community.”

“The onus is now on the Bangladeshi authorities to expedite an investigation into his murder,” it said in a statement.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said Mohibullah had served as a leader among the nearly one million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

He documented the Myanmar military’s crimes against the Rohingya and advocating for refugee rights in international forums.

“Mohibullah’s death undermines not only the struggle of Rohingya refugees for greater rights and protection but also their efforts to safely return to their homes in Myanmar,” Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.

“Bangladesh authorities should urgently investigate Mohibullah’s killing along with other attacks on Rohingya activists in the camps.”

Mohibullah’s younger brother Habibullah told EFE over the phone from Cox’s Bazar that some 20-25 armed men stormed into his office on Wednesday, when he was talking to his supporters after the late evening prayers on Wednesday.

“He was hit by three bullets,” Habibullah said.

Mohibullah taught in the Rakhine State of Myanmar.

He fled him along with hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas in August 2017 when the army launched an offensive against the minority Muslim community, who have lived in the state for generations, following alleged insurgent attacks on security checkpoints.

In Bangladesh, he and several hundred volunteers founded the ARSPH in late 2017.

Some 738,000 Rohingyas have found refuge in Bangladesh after the military crackdown in Myanmar described by the UN as ethnic cleansing and possible genocide.

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