27 gay Bangladeshi are arrested

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The men, mostly students in their twenties, travelled from across the country to have a party in the community center in Keraniganj, outside the country’s capital of Dhaka. The arrests were made by the Rapid Action Battalion, an elite police unit repeatedly described by LGBT activists as a ‘death squad’. Commander Zahangir Hossain Matobbar of the unit’s tenth division said the men illegally possessed contraceptives and there were some illegal substances in their possession as well. The police plan to charge the suspects with drug offenses, not homosexuality, because they were detained before they engaged in sex, Associated Press has reported.
The elite unit also revealed it had arrested the owner of the community centre for their part in making the party possible. Though the country’s government has, since 2013, recognised people who want to claim a third, non-binary gender identity with the term “hijra,” homosexuality is still illegal.

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