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Secretary Kerry Presses Bangladesh for Answers on LGBT Advocates’ Deaths

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State secretary demands “thorough investigation.”

U.S Secretary of State John Kerry pressed Bangladeshi authorities to investigate the killings of two openly gay activists last week.

The State Department said in a press briefing that Kerry called Prime Minister Hasina Wazed April 28 and "urged [her] to ensure a thorough investigation of all of these incidents, and to redouble law enforcement efforts to prevent future attacks and protect those who are at risk."

Xulhaz Mannan, editor of the South Asian country's sole LGBT magazine, Roopbaan, and friend Tanay Mojumdar were slain in Mannan's apartment by a group of men wielding machetes. Mannan also worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development after eight years with the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka.

The State Department warns LGBT travelers about visiting Bangladesh, where consensual same-sex relationships are still illegal. Punishments for same-sex activity can be as severe as life in prison.

A commenter on a Facebook memorial page for Mannan reads, "I hope this brings real change to Bangladesh. Your courage won't be forgotten."

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