WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, released the following statement Monday upon news that Tanay Majumder and Xulhaz Mannan, an employee of USAID who also founded Bangladesh’s first LGBT magazine, Roopbaan, were murdered last night:
“I condemn in the strongest way possible the murders of Xulhaz Mannan and Tanay Majumder in Bangladesh last night. Mr. Mannan had been a pioneering LGBT advocate in the nation, and also served the people and interests of the United States through his work with USAID. I extend my deepest condolences to the victims’ families and friends.
“The Bangladeshi authorities have a responsibility to investigate these cases thoroughly and bring the criminals to justice, and they must send a signal – loud and clear – that crimes against anyone for who they are, the work they do, who they love, or what God they worship can have no place in a modern society.”
“Just two days ago, ISIS claimed credit for the brutal murder of a university professor in Dhaka. The troubling recent uptick in acts of terrorism against bloggers, secular activists and others in Bangladesh is a tragic development. I urge the Bangladeshi authorities to continue to cooperate closely on counterterrorism with the United States. Bangladesh must also seek to address the root causes of terrorism in its society and work to counter violent extremism in all its forms.”