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As Bangladesh braces for the impact of COVID-19, with much of the country in lockdown, people with means have stocked food and hunkered down at home. But in a country where one in five people lives below the poverty line, for…
A Hijra in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
News

Transgender Men Face Threats and Widespread Discrimination

In October 2017 Human Rights Watch interviewed six transgender men living in different parts of Bangladesh. All of them spoke of bullying at school, barriers to employment, difficulty accessing health care, as well as harassment and verbal abuse in both…
Marchers at an LGBT rights rally in Dhaka during Pohela Boishakh (Bengali New  Year) in 2015.
Report
Summary My brother asked, “Can I have your identity? What is your force? Are you RAB, CID, DB?” They did not identify themselves. He asked several times. They did not wear any uniform and they had no legal arrest warrant. Nothing. They just said, “…
News

Security Forces Offer Threats, Not Protection

Bangladesh’s notorious Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) raided a gathering in Dhaka on May 19, arrested 28 men, paraded them in front of the media while saying they were gay, and accused them of drug possession. Apparently tipped off by a…
Members of the the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Dhaka, Bangladesh, December 4, 2012.
News

Lack of Rights Protections for Hijras Undermines Government Directive

(Dhaka, December 23, 2016) – Bangladesh’s steps in recent years to recognize hijras as a third legal gender are leading to further abuses due to widespread prejudice and lack of clear rights-based procedures, Human Rights Watch said in a report released…
A Hijra in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Report
Summary In recent years the government of Bangladesh has taken important steps toward acknowledging and protecting hijras, but the implementation of promising decrees and programs has exposed hijras to serious abuses. On…
Report
Summary On the morning of February 28, 2013, the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami party called a strike to protest the death penalty handed down against its leader, Delwar Hossain Sayedee, who had been convicted by Bangladesh’s International Crimes…
News

Consideration of Bangladesh’s Periodic Report, 65th Session

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input drawn from our research on Bangladesh’s obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). A.   Marriage Rights (Article 16 and…
News

Carry Out Proper Investigations to Identify and Prosecute ‘Machete Attacks’

(New York) – The Bangladeshi authorities should investigate attacks on secular writers, gay rights activists, and religious minorities, and identify and prosecute the perpetrators, but should immediately stop arbitrarily arresting people without proper…
Police stand guard during a rally by activists demanding capital punishment for a group of bloggers in Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 12, 2013.
News

Bangladesh's beleagured LGBT community deserves the government's respect, but more importantly, the community deserves protection from fatal attacks by extremists, says this researcher at Human Rights Watch.

On April 14 I saw a news alert about police arresting four LGBT people in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s bustling capital city. I emailed Xulhaz Mannan, a contact at the organization mentioned in the news piece, to ask what support they needed. He wrote back two…
News

Protect Activists From Attack

(New York) – The Bangladeshi authorities should immediately investigate the killings of two lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) human rights activists, Human Rights Watch said today. Police found Xulhaz Mannan and Tonoy Mahbub hacked to death…