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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Bangladeshi Police Arrest 29 for Attending Secret LGBT Meet

DHAKA - At least 29 members of the gay community were arrested in Bangladesh accused of attending a secret meeting of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender) group and consuming illegal drugs.

Homosexuality is an offense in Bangladesh, and those arrested are now being interrogated by the police.

"They have been arrested for homosexuality and consuming illegal drugs," Jahangir Hossain Matabbar, commanding officer of the country's Rapid Action Battalion, which was part of the raid conducted late Thursday in Keraniganj, on the outskirts of Dhaka, told EFE Friday.

According to Matabbar, the police were tipped-off about the meeting leading to the raid, during which they recovered drugs and condoms.

The participants organized regular meetings through social media, he added.

Under Bangladeshi law, homosexuality is a crime and Section 377 of the penal code provides for sentences of up to life terms.

April 2016 was a particularly difficult month for the community, when two leading activists from Roopbaan - an LGBT rights group in the country - were hacked to death by members of the Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, or AQIS.

Over 70 people, including bloggers, thinkers, members of religious minorities and foreigners, have been killed in the Asian country since 2013 by extremists.

While some attacks were claimed by the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda's South Asia wing, authorities maintain they were perpetrated by Bangladeshi extremists inspired by these terror groups.
 

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