Unknown gunmen sprayed 46-year-old Mohib Ullah with bullets on Wednesday night as the chairman of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARSPH) at Kutupalong camp.
Mohib Ullah was first rushed to a local medical facility and later referred to Cox's Bazar Sadar Hospital where the on-duty doctor declared him dead.
The ARPSH was formed in late 2017 to collect evidence of the alleged genocide by the Myanmar army during its offensive in Rakhine State in August of that year, leading to a massive exodus of the Rohingya out of Rakhine, where they have been living for generations.
It emerged as one of the leading organisations giving voice to the Rohingya refugees. Its bamboo-and-tarpaulin office inside the Kutupalong camp, the world’s largest refugee settlement, often housed meetings among Rohingya community leaders.
Mohib Ullah, a teacher turned rights activist, emerged as a key refugee leader and spokesperson in international meetings. In 2019, he was chosen to represent his community on a visit to the White House for a meeting with the US president on religious freedom, where he voiced the persecution faced by the Rohingya in Myanmar.
That same year, he came under fire after he along with others led a massive rally of 200,000 refugees to mark the second anniversary of the Myanmar military crackdown. Though it was peaceful, Bangladeshi authorities appeared rattled as a wave of xenophobia directed at the Rohingyas swept through the country.
They subsequently padlocked the ARSPH office, as part of a clampdown on the refugees following a failed repatriation attempt. The office was later allowed to reopen.
According to Fortify Rights, an international NGO that has done advocacy on behalf of the Rohingya, Mohib Ullah’s rejection of violence had made him the target of death threats by Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army militants and their sympathisers.