Family Blames Rohingya Militants for Murder of Community Leader

The brother of Rohingya community leader Mohib Ullah, Thursday (30/9) blamed the militants who killed victims in a Bangladesh refugee camp for his popularity and activities in the field of human rights.

Mohib Ullah has in recent years emerged as one of the most prominent representatives of the roughly 850,000 Rohingya who have fled to camps in Bangladesh since they fled violence in Myanmar in 2017.

Unidentified assailants shot dead Mohib Ullah late Wednesday (29/9), prompting Bangladeshi authorities to deploy hundreds of additional armed police in the camps on Thursday.

Up to 25,000 people attended funeral prayers at the main Kutupalong camp on Thursday, police said. Nazir Hossain, a Rohingya leader, said the number reached 200,000.

Law enforcement officers secure an area at the Kitupalong Refugee camp in Ukhia, September 30, 2021, a day after unknown assailants shot dead Mohib Ullah, the leader of the Rohingya community outside his office in a refugee camp.  (Tanbir MIRAJ/AFP)

Law enforcement officers secure an area at the Kitupalong Refugee camp in Ukhia, September 30, 2021, a day after unknown assailants shot dead Mohib Ullah, the leader of the Rohingya community outside his office in a refugee camp. (Tanbir MIRAJ/AFP)

Habib Ullah told AFP his brother had received death threats from the Arakan Rohingya Liberation Army (ARSA) in recent months, and that at least eight men from the group took part in the attack.

“ARSA soldiers have committed this murder. They often threatened to kill my brother, ”he said. “ARSA did not just kill our brothers. They killed our great leader. “

Police have said at least four unidentified assailants were involved in the shooting, which took place while Mohib Ullah was talking to other community leaders outside his office.

Mohib Ullah, 48, has founded the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARSPH), a community-based human rights organization that documents the alleged atrocities committed against the group by the Myanmar military during the 2017 offensive.

The attacks prompted hundreds of thousands of people from the long-oppressed, mostly Muslim minority to flee to Bangladesh, where they still live four years later, in squalid refugee camps.

Mohib Ullah, leader of the Arakan Rohingya Community for Peace and Human Rights, speaks to other Rohingya people at Kutupalong camp, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, April 7, 2019.

Mohib Ullah, leader of the Arakan Rohingya Community for Peace and Human Rights, speaks to other Rohingya people at Kutupalong camp, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, April 7, 2019.

The former teacher rose to prominence after his group held a massive rally to mark the second year of repression against them in 2019. The rally was estimated to have been attended by 200,000 Rohingya.

That year, Mohib Ullah also met then US president Donald Trump at the White House for a meeting on religious freedom, and spoke at the UN human rights meeting in Geneva.

The current US administration on Thursday expressed “deep sadness and concern” over the killing of Mohib Ullah.

“We urge a full and transparent investigation into his death to hold the perpetrators of this heinous crime accountable,” Foreign Minister Antony Blinken said in a statement. [uh/lt]

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