Va Beach human rights leader charged in connection with domestic violence-related incidents

Raj Islam has been on the Human Rights Commission since 2013

Raj Islam (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of the Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office)
Raj Islam (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office)

VIRGINIA BEACH  — The leader of city’s Human Rights Commission was jailed Monday and charged with allegedly assaulting a family member and attempted malicious wounding, according to jail records.

Police arrested Rajeeb Islam in connection with the domestic incident and placed him in the city’s jail. Islam was also separately charged with assaulting a family member Thursday, four days prior.

No further details were immediately available, and Virginia Beach police were not immediately available for comment about the case.

City Council appointed Islam to the commission in August 2013. He has volunteered or worked with the city’s EMS for 19 years. Recently, Islam and the commission contributed to Virginia Beach’s coordinated efforts to curb violence at the Oceanfront during College Beach Weekend in April.

Related story: Crimes and Crowds during College Beach Weekend 2018

According to Islam’s bio, he was presented the VAHRC Commissioner of the Year award, alongside fellow Commissioner Teresa Stanley, for work done during the “St. Francis and the Saint” program.

The commission was founded out of the disruption of the 1989 Labor Day weekend riots at the Oceanfront. City Council passed an ordinance on Aug. 6, 1991 establishing the commission, according to a history of the commission on their website.

Sylvia Nery-Strickland, vice-chairwoman of the commission, said the HRC does not yet have an official statement on the incident and is waiting for the situation to further develop.

She later released this statement:

“We respect Raj Islam’s work at the Human Rights Commission.  We are aware of the charges pending against Raj Islam. There is a judicial process in place and we are awaiting the outcome.  The Human Rights Commission remains dedicated to advocating for the human rights of all residents of Virginia Beach.  To that end, we are concentrating our efforts towards planning a forum for Human Rights Day on December 10.”

Councilwoman Shannon Kane and Mayor-Elect Bobby Dyer, both council liaisons to the commission, were not immediately available for comment.

Virginia Beach magistrate would not provide Islam with bond Monday and Tuesday, according to court records. He will remain in custody until he receives a bond hearing, which is set in the Juvenile Domestic Relations courtroom at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

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