Bangladesh opens trial in murder of Rohingya leader Mohib Ullah

Twenty-nine people are indicted over the killing of the prominent Rohingya rights advocate, who was gunned down in a refugee camp last year

Cox's Bazar Correspondent
Published : 11 Sept 2022, 10:42 AM
Updated : 11 Sept 2022, 10:42 AM

A Cox's Bazar court has indicted 29 people for the murder of prominent Mohammad Mohib Ullah, a civilian leader of Myanmar's forcibly displaced Rohingya community, at a refugee camp in Ukhiya in 2021.

District and Sessions Judge Md Ismail Court framed the charges against the suspects on Sunday, paving the way for a trial in the case.

Citing the case statement, Public Prosecutor Faridul Alam said Mohib Ullah was gunned down by a group of assailants on Sept 29, 2021 near a tea stall in the D Block of Lombashia-1 East Rohingya Camp while he was chatting with fellow Rohingya.

Popularly known as Master Mohib Ullah, the 48-year-old was one of the most prominent advocates for the persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority. He represented the Rohingya community at the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2019.

Prior to his death, he had been serving as chairman of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights. The group was founded in 2017 to document atrocities against Rohingya in their native Myanmar and give them a voice in international talks about their future.

Around eight and a half months after the incident on Jun 23, 2022, police pressed charges against 29 Rohingya, 15 of whom are currently behind bars. The others rest are still on the run.

In the chargesheet, police said they found the involvement of an armed Rohingya separatist group, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, or ARSA, in the assassination.

“ARSA and others opposing repatriation were angry at Mohib Ullah because of his popularity,” Faridul told bdnews24.com on Jun 23.

On Sunday, the prosecutor said confessional statements of four arrestees have already been recorded under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Eleven immediate members of Mohib Ullah’s family set off for Canada amid growing concerns about their safety in the Ukhiya refugee settlement as the authorities of the North American nation decided to extend ‘refugee' status to them.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher