US Expresses Outrage over Hacking to Death of USAID Employee

This picture posted by Xulhaz Mannan with words "Homage to the Martyrs" on his Facebook page on Dec 23, 2012

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Washington, DC – The United States in unequivocal words deplored the brutal murders of Bangladeshi nationals in capital Dhaka’s Kalabagan neighborhood and pledged its support to authorities to ensure capture of the culprits involved.

Expressing outrage over the “barbaric” murder of Xulhaz Mannan (35), a USAID employee who was the editor of Bangladesh’s only LGBT rights magazine Roopban, along with his friend Tanay Fahim, State Department spokesperson John Kirby said, “… outraged by the barbaric attack on Xulhaz Mannan, a beloved member of our embassy family and a courageous advocate for LGBT rights — human rights.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry also condemned the cold-blooded murder saying, “The men and women of the US State Department join me today in condemning the barbaric murder of Mannan.”

“We are profoundly saddened by the loss of one of our own in such a senseless act of violence, and we extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones,” he said.

“An act like this simply is beyond words, unjustifiable, inexcusable and our heartfelt condolences of course go out to his mother, to his family, to his friends and to his colleagues, as well as all those who knew and loved the other individual who was also brutally murdered with him,” spokesperson Kirby added.

“As we mourn his death, we celebrate Xulhaz’s life and everything he contributed to Bangladesh, to the United States and to the global struggle for human rights and dignity, and we pledge our support to Bangladeshi authorities to ensure that the cowards who did this are held accountable,” Kirby said.

Highlighting Bangladesh being “proud of its history as a moderate, tolerant and inclusive society that values the diversity of its people, culture and religions,” Kirby noted that this attack fundamentally was seeking to undermine all that the country stood for and all that its people have strived to bring about in recent years.

In a statement released by the White House, National Security Council (NSC) Spokesperson Ned Price expressed deepest sympathies to Mannan’s loved ones as they mourn his loss, noting, “An employee of the US Agency for International Development, Mr. Mannan served the US Embassy in Dhaka with distinction, and he worked on behalf of his fellow Bangladeshis as a voice for justice, equality, and human rights for all.”

Strongly urging, “the Government of Bangladesh to ensure that the perpetrators of this senseless crime are brought to justice,” Price said, “Mannan set an example of dignity, courage, and selflessness, and his legacy will live on in the causes he championed.”

“Today, USAID lost one of our own. On behalf of our entire team, I send our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of USAID Foreign Service National Xulhaz Mannan, who was brutally murdered in Bangladesh today. We condemn this cruel and inhumane act of violence and add our voices to all those calling to bring his cowardly attackers to justice,” said USAID Administrator Gayle Smith in a statement.

“In his role as a Project Management Assistant in the Democracy and Governance office, he worked tirelessly to support organizations focused on broadening and deepening political understanding throughout Bangladesh. Unsurprisingly, he also devoted extra time to building a more open and welcoming workplace, serving as a founding member of the US Embassy Diversity Committee,” said Smith.

Xulhaz is survived by his brother and his mother, and friends in Bangladesh and around the world who mourn this great loss, noted Smith.

There have been systematic assaults in Bangladesh in recent months specially targeting minorities, secular bloggers, intellectuals and foreigners.

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