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Bangladesh arrests 27 men on suspicion of being gay
May 25 2017, 06:02 | Irvin Gilbert
Bangladesh police arrest 27 youths over homosexuality
Bangladesh has arrested 29 people from an LGBT gathering here, a rare crackdown on gay men in the conservative Muslim-majority country where homosexuality is prohibited, officials said on Friday.
The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), an elite security force, said it had raided a community centre south of the capital Dhaka where the men had gathered.
Zahangir Hossain Matobbar said they recovered illegal drugs and condoms in their possession and plan to charge them with drug offenses and not homosexuality because they were detained before they engaged in sex.
"Since we neither have such evidence nor were they [the 28 detainees] arrested while having intercourse, as per the law, we are unable file a case under the provision".
However, they were later transferred to the custody of the regular police where they were charged with drugs-related crimes. "They are homosexuals. They held a get-together there".
"The bloody assault was a sickening reminder that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights - the right to live and love as one wishes - are viewed dimly in many nations and societies around the world", The Washington Post editorial board wrote of Mannan's death at the time.
Last year, two LGBT activists were killed in Dhaka by militants.
Homosexuality is illegal in Bangladesh, and the discriminatory law can reportedly result in a punishment of life in prison.
Since then, numerous gays and lesbians have left the country after they received death threats.