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Mahbub Tonoy

Mahbub Tonoy


Mahbub Tonoy was a prominent LGBT rights defender. He assisted on a regular basis with the publication of the magazine Roopbaan, Bangladesh’s first LGBT publication, launched in 2014. The magazine aims to promote wider tolerance of people of diverse sexual orientations by people in Bangladesh. He was also involved in a theatre group, and he was among the organisers of the annual 'rainbow rally' in Dhaka, which since 2014 had been held on 14 April. On 25 April 2016, Mr Mahbub Tonoy and his friend and human rights defender Mr Xulhaz Mannan were killed by a group of unidentified men in their apartment in Kalabagan area, Dhaka.

Human rights defenders (HRDs) in Bangladesh endure judicial harassment, arbitrary arrest, fabricated charges, abduction, physical attacks, torture and extrajudicial killings. Human rights violations against HRDs are committed by both state and non-state actors including corporations, impunity remains one of the most serious issues of concern, particularly as fatal attacks on human rights defenders and journalsits become increasingly common.