Mohibullah, who was in his late 40s, was murdered by unknown gunmen in a camp in Cox’s Bazar Wednesday night.
Police say five Rohingya men have been arrested in connection with the murder of a prominent community leader in a refugee camp in Bangladesh.
Mohibullah – a high-profile figurehead of Bangladesh’s nearly one million Muslim minority – was killed by gunmen late Wednesday at one of the sprawling camps in the Cox’s Bazar neighborhood.
More than 750,000 Rohingya, one of the most persecuted minorities in the world, fled to Bangladesh in 2017 after a brutal military offensive by Myanmar’s military. Thousands of Rohingya were killed and their properties and farms destroyed, with the United Nations calling on Myanmar officials to denounce genocide.
Mohibullah’s family accused fighters of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a group behind several attacks in Myanmar, with activists claiming they were outraged by his growing popularity in the camps.
“We have arrested five people for the murder of Mohibullah,” the commander of the police unit responsible for camp security, Naimul Haque, told the AFP news agency.
Two of the men were held for three days for questioning, authorities said. The other three have not yet appeared in court.
A 28-year-old Rohingya man was also arrested for the murder last week.
Researched for links to ARSA
All six are being investigated for links to ARSA, which instead blames “unidentified criminals” for Mohibullah’s death.
A member of the human rights group that Mohibullah led claimed that one of those arrested, 35-year-old Mohammad Elias, was a member of ARSA and had threatened the popular leader in June.
The member, who asked to remain anonymous because he feared for his safety, said at least 10 leaders of Mohibullah’s group had gone into hiding fearing more attacks.
And while authorities have stepped up security in the camps, Mohibullah’s family said they were afraid to even go outside.
‘We can’t leave the house. She [ARSA] threaten to kill us,” Mohibullah’s younger brother Habibullah told AFP.
“We have received threats via audio messages in recent days. I’m panicking now. We received the death threats because they said ARSA members killed my brother.”
A police spokesman for Cox’s Bazar, Rafiqul Islam, said they were ready to secure Mohibullah’s family if they appealed.
On Friday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, called for a “quick, thorough and independent investigation” into the murder.