Police in Bangladesh arrested 27 men on Friday morning at a community center in Keraniganj, just outside the capital of Dhaka. The men were arrested and could be charged under a little used anti-homosexuality law, which carries the possibility of life in prison.
“We’ve arrested 27 people for homosexuality. They are homosexuals. They held a get-together there,” Major Manzur, of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), told Agence France Presse.
Manzur added that they found condoms and drugs on those arrested. He said police would bring charges, but did not say under what law.
Zahangir Hossain Matobbar, a commander with the RAB, said the men were students, between the ages of 20-30, who had traveled from across the country. He described the community center where they met as a place they would gather every two months and stay overnight for partying, reports the Associated Press.
While authorities said they were arrested under suspicion of being gay, Matobbar said drug charges would be brought since they were detained before anyone started having sex.
Drug laws in Bangladesh are also strict, with some charges resulting in the death penalty.
Last year, Al-Qaeda took credit for the brutal murder of LGBTQ rights activist, and founder of Bangladesh’s first LGBTQ magazine, Xulhaz Mannan, in his home in Dhaka. Mannan’s friend theater actor Tanay Majumder, was also killed.
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