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Rohingya leader Mohib Ullah shot dead at Bangladesh refugee camp

  • Cox’s Bazar Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2021-09-30 00:22:08 BdST

A group of unidentified gunmen have killed Rohingya leader Mohammad Mohib Ullah at a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar's Ukhiya.

The assailants, who covered their faces with towels, carried out the attack when he was talking to people at a tea shop in Lombashia camp on Wednesday evening, said Naim-Ul Haque, commander of 14 Armed Police Battalion at the camp.

Mohib Ullah was taken to the Medicines Sans Frontières hospital at Kutupalong camp where he died around 10:15 pm.

The attackers fired five shots, three of which hit Mohib Ullah, according to Naim. They fled when the residents of the camp gathered at the scene.

APBn and police launched a drive to arrest them, Naim said.

Known as Master Mohib Ullah, the Rohingya leader, who was in his late 40s, had been serving as the chairman of Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights. He was among a group of minorities sent by Bangladesh for a meeting with the then US president Donald Trump at the White House in July 2019.

The international media interviewed the former teacher several times. The Los Angeles Times in a September 2019 article described how Mohib Ullah gave the Rohingya a voice.

Reuters reported in April 2019 that Mohib Ullah had been receiving death threats as hardliners opposed his group’s views. A month before that, he was invited to Geneva where he told the United Nations Human Rights Council the Rohingya want a say over their own future.

A spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said the agency was "deeply saddened" by the killing of Mohib Ullah. "We are in continuous contact with law enforcement authorities in charge of maintaining peace and security in the camps," the spokesperson said.

Mohib Ullah, a leader of Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights, talks on the phone in Kutupalong camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh April 7, 2019. Reuters

Mohib Ullah, a leader of Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights, talks on the phone in Kutupalong camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh April 7, 2019. Reuters

Mohib Ullah's group made its name documenting atrocities the Rohingya suffered during the 2017 Myanmar crackdown, which the UN has said was carried out with genocidal intent.

At the Bangladesh refugee camps, Mohib Ullah went from hut to hut to build a tally of killings, rape and arson that was shared with international investigators.

The sprawling camps in Bangladesh have become increasingly violent, residents say, with armed men vying for power, kidnapping critics, and warning women against breaking conservative Islamic norms.

Aung Kyaw Moe, a Rohingya civil society activist and an adviser to Myanmar's National Unity Government, the parallel civilian government established after February's coup, said Mohib Ullah's death was a "big loss for the Rohingya community."

"He was always aware there is a threat, but he thinks that despite the threat if he is not doing the work he is doing, no one else would," he said.

 [With details from Reuters]