GLIFAA mourns the loss of a dedicated colleague and a beloved community member, Xulhaz Mannan, who was brutally murdered for being who he is – a passionate human rights activist who believed that human rights included freedom to love. We condemn this cowardly and inhumane act of violence, and stand by all human rights defenders, including the LGBT+ community, in Bangladesh and around the world who continue to face grave threats to their lives. A colleague noted “Xulhaz was dedicated to diversity and to opportunity, dignity and inclusion for all people. He cared deeply about the future of Bangladesh and wanted to see the country flourish and progress in all dimensions.”
GLIFAA has set equality and safety of LGBT+ foreign national staff as one of our priorities this year and this tragedy highlights that the current efforts within and beyond the walls of the embassy are still not sufficient. We hope to continue to work with the U.S. foreign affairs agencies to create a safer workplace for all employees, and provide adequate support to protect and promote the human rights of all persons globally. We believe more can be done to work with the host country governments to stem the hate against and protect its own citizens.