Almost 40-year-old Mohib Ullah led the emergence of one of the largest community groups since more than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar after a military crackdown in August 2017.
Invited to the White House and to speak before the UN Human Rights Council, he was one of the foremost advocates of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority facing persecution for generations.
Rafiqul Islam, a deputy police superintendent in the nearby town of Cox’s Bazar, told Reuters by telephone that Mohib Ullah had been shot but did not have further details.
A spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said the agency was “deeply saddened” by the murder of Mohib Ullah. “We are in permanent contact with the police responsible for maintaining peace and security in the camps,” said the spokesperson.
In refugee camps in Bangladesh, Mohib Ullah went from hut to hut to compile a tally of murders, rapes and arson which was shared with international investigators.
His organization has worked to give more voice to refugees inside camps and abroad. Speaking to the UN Human Rights Council, he said the Rohingya are more interested in having a say in their own future.
But his notoriety made him a target of extremists and he received death threats, he told Reuters in 2019. “If I die, I’m fine. I will give my life, ”he said at the time.
The sprawling camps in Bangladesh have become increasingly violent, residents say, with gunmen vying for power, kidnapping critics and warning women against violating conservative Islamic standards.
Aung Kyaw Moe, a Rohingya civil society activist and adviser to Myanmar’s government of national unity, the parallel civilian government established after the February coup, said the death of Mohib Ullah was a “great loss to the nation. Rohingya community ”.
“He has always been aware that there is a threat, but he thinks that despite the threat, if he doesn’t do the job he does, no one else will,” he said. .