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Sunday, October 3, 2021

Bangladesh arrests members of Rohingya insurgent group after refugee leader’s murder

South China Morning Post
dpa
Published: 3 Oct, 2021


  • Mohib Ullah, who was killed on Wednesday, had met former US president Donald Trump and joined a UN Human Rights Council session in 2019
  • Three suspects with links to an armed insurgent group were detained and are being interrogated, officials said.
Bangladesh police officials stand guard near the crime scene after the Mohib Ullah a top Rohingya community leader, was shot dead in Cox’s Bazaar. Photo: EPA-EFE

Police inBangladesh arrested three suspects believed to have links to an armed insurgent group among Rohingya refugees, as officials promised justice for the killers of a prominent Rohingya rights activist.

“The killers will certainly be brought to justice. None will be spared,” Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said on Saturday, three days after the murder of Mohib Ullah, the head of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARSPH).

Ullah was gunned down by unknown assailants late on Wednesday inside the Kutupalong camp, one of the largest refugee settlements worldwide, prompting demands from the international community that Bangladeshi authorities urgently investigate the murder.

Located in the south-eastern Bangladeshi district of Cox’s Bazaar, the sprawling camp is home to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who fled persecution in neighbouring Buddhist-majority Myanmar.

Bangladeshi police had arrested three suspected members of a Rohingya insurgent group by Friday, officer Nayeemul Haque said.

“The suspects are being interrogated,” the officer said without elaborating.

Rohingya leader Mohib Ullah, pictured in 2018. Photo: Reuters

Ullah’s family, however, blamed Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), an armed group, for the murder. The group is also responsible for carrying out attacks on security checkpoints in northern Rakhine state that prompted the Myanmar military to launch a brutal crackdown against the Rohingya in August 2017.

The crackdown, held up by the UN as a textbook example of ethnic cleansing, forced nearly 750,000 Rohingya Muslims to cross into Bangladesh.

Ullah, who was among them, mobilised the refugees in Bangladeshi camps under the banner of his ARSPH, which played a role in plans to repatriate Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar.

He was one of a group of victims of religious persecution from around the world who met former US president Donald Trump at the White House in 2019, when he asked the US to help his beleaguered people.

Rohingya refugees attend the funeral of the Mohib Ullah on September 30. Photo: EPA-EFE

Ullah had joined the UN Human Rights Council session in March 2019 in person and explained how the Rohingya had suffered discrimination for decades.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Friday called upon Bangladesh to begin a prompt, thorough and independent investigation to identify and arrest the killers and expose their motives.

She also urged Bangladesh to ensure better protection for vulnerable Rohingya leaders. UN human rights officials say insecurity has been on the rise at the refugee camps.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Bangladesh arrests threein Rohingya leader’s death.

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