27 men have been arrested in Bangladesh by the Rapid Action Battalion on suspicion of being gay, which is a criminal offence in Bangladesh. Police plan to charge them with drug possession.
Mostly students aged 20-30 years, the men were arrested in a raid on a community centre at Keraniganj early today.
Zahangir Hossain Matobbar said they recovered illegal drugs and condoms and plan to charge them with drug offences, not homosexuality, because they were detained before they had engaged in sex.
The owner of the community centre, where the suspects used to gather every two months and stay overnight for partying, was arrested.
Bangladesh is a dangerous place for gays and lesbians. 35-year-old Xulhaz Mannan, a USAID official, was hacked to death in April last year at his home after founding Bangladesh’s only LGBT magazine.
Since then, many gays and lesbians have left Bangladesh after they received death threats.