Unknown gunmen shot and killed Mohib Ullah, 46, the chair of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARSPH).
Mohib Ullah documented atrocities committed by the Burma Army and security forces against the Rohingya people and it is known he was subject to a number of death threats for his advocacy.
Meenakshi Ganguly, the South Asia director at Human Rights Watch (HRW) praised Mohib Ullah’s advocacy work and said he “was a vital voice for the community of Rohingya who had already suffered unimaginable loss and pain when they arrived as refugees in Bangladesh.”
It has been reported that police said the gunmen killed Mohib Ullah outside his office as he was talking with Rohingya leaders.
HRW’s Meenakshi Ganguly said, Mohib Ullah’s killing is a huge blow to the Rohingya community and needs to be quickly investigated.
“Mohibullah’s death undermines not only the struggle of Rohingya refugees for greater rights and protection in the refugee camps, but also their efforts to safely return to their homes in Myanmar. Bangladesh authorities should urgently investigate Mohibullah’s killing along with other attacks on Rohingya activists in the camps. His killing is a stark demonstration of the risks faced by those in the camps who speak up for freedom and against violence.”
Saad Hammadi, Amnesty International’s South Asia campaigner, quoted in The Guardian said “Mohib Ullah’s killing would send a chilling effect across the entire community”. “The onus is now on the Bangladeshi authorities to expedite an investigation into his murder and bring all those suspected of criminal responsibility to justice in fair trials.”
Mohib Ullah spoke strongly to United Nations Human Rights Council in 2019 on the violations, killings, displacement suffered by the Rohingya people at the hands of the the Burma military. He urged the UNHRC to; “Imagine you have no identity, no ethnicity, no country. Nobody wants you. How would you feel? This is how we feel today as Rohingya. For decades we faced a systematic genocide in Myanmar. They took our citizenship. They took our land. They destroyed our mosques. No travel, no higher education, no healthcare, no jobs … We are not stateless. Stop calling us that. We have a state. It is Myanmar.”
It is known Mohib Ullah had previously received death threats for his advocacy – at the time of writing no organization had claimed responsibility for his killing.
Saad Hammadi, Amnesty International’s South Asia campaigner said Mohib Ullah’s killing called for an urgent investigation into his murder and to threats received by other human rights defenders.
“His killing sends a chilling effect across the entire community. The onus is now on the Bangladeshi authorities to expedite an investigation into his murder and bring all those suspected of criminal responsibility to justice in fair trials.
“We call on the Bangladeshi authorities and the UN Refugee Agency to work together to ensure the protection of people in the camps, including refugees, civil society activists and humanitarian workers from both the Rohingya and host community, many of whom have shared concerns about their safety. Violence in the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazaar has been a growing problem. Armed groups operating drug cartels have killed people and held hostages. The authorities must take immediate action to prevent further bloodshed.”
More than 1.1 million Rohingya refugees from Burma are now in Bangladesh after their villages had been destroyed and the people terrorized by the Burma military.