From The Guardian, 12 May 2015: A secular blogger has been hacked to death in north-east Bangladesh, the third such deadly attack this year.
Police said Ananta Bijoy Das was murdered as he headed to work at a bank in the city of Sylhet, an attack that fellow writers said highlighted a culture of impunity.
Kamrul Hasan, commissioner of Sylhet police, said a group of about four masked attackers pounced on Das with machetes at about 8.30am on Tuesday on a busy street in Bangladesh’s fifth-largest city.
It appears that Ananta Bijoy Das had been refused a visa to attend a writers’ conference in Sweden, as the death threats against him led the consulate to consider it a risk he might not return home.
It appears also that the Bangladesh government is reluctant to upset Islamists by investigating the murders and threats too closely.
Video from the British Humanist Association. For celebrants local to Shropshire, please contact us or see the list on this site under Humanist Celebrants.
There is a serious threat to freedom of thought, expression and political opinion in Bangladesh. Atheist and freethinking voices are the target (including the three bloggers paraded by the authorities in the image above).
Islamist political parties have provided government with a list of 84 “atheist bloggers” and are demanding the death penalty for “insulting religion”. Several bloggers have already been arrested and a government official promised to pursue all those listed.
Last week, we said the government would be “walking into a trap set by fundamentalists” if they gave any succour to these demands. But they did. And on Friday a rally on the order of 100,000 Islamists marched in Dhaka (video) calling for a new blasphemy law and for the execution of the atheist bloggers. Earlier this year a prominent atheist blogger was murdered in a machete attack at his home, so we are also concerned about the safety in public of those accused of “blasphemy”.
We are urging IHEU Member Organisations and humanists everywhere to act now in solidarity with the bloggers and to put an end to the threats and intimidation.
What Can You Say?
Public event by Birmingham Humanists
Friday, 14 December 2012, 19:30
David Allen Green (Jack of Kent) on free speech, free press, social media, injunctions, libel, blasphemy and giving/taking offence…
Read David’s blog at http://http://www.newstatesman.com/writers/david_allen_green
The next meeting of SHG will be on Thursday September 22nd at 7.30 pm at The Lantern. Dr Antony Lempert of the Secular Medical Forum (and winner of the award ‘Academic of the Year’ in the 2010 Erotic Awards) will be speaking about circumcision, entitled ‘Forced Genital Cutting: the hidden story.’
The October meeting, on October 20th, at the The Lantern, will be a discussion forum as well as the group’s AGM, and I would ask you particularly to make an effort to attend and make your voice heard.