Outspoken blogger murdered in Dhaka
Statement from the Commonwealth Journalists Association:
Avijit Roy, a US-based blogger of Bangladeshi origin was hacked to death on the streets of Dhaka on 26 February by terrorists trying to stifle free speech. His wife and fellow blogger Rafida Ahmed suffered head injuries and lost a finger. She remains in hospital in a serious condition.
Roy, who ran a popular site `Mukto-Mona’ ( http://www.mukto-mona.com/), which roughly translates to mean `free mind’ had been a target of Islamist terror groups for espousing secularism in his country and for seeking justice against Islamist leaders who had participated in war crimes such as mass murder and rape during Bangladesh’s Liberation War in 1971.
Despite threats to his life, Roy and his wife had travelled to a Book Fair at Dhaka to promote his books, `Obisshahser Dorshon’ (The Philosophy of Disbelief) and `Biswasher Virus’ (The Virus of Faith), on secular thought. Like France’s Charlie Hebdo, the secular thought site has put up the following message : “…We Remain Undefeated.”…
We at Commonwealth Journalists Association are deeply moved by his sacrifice to the cause of free thought and join mourners worldwide in seeking justice.
Farid Hossain, President of CJA, Bangladesh said: “CJA Bangladesh strongly condemns the brutal murder of Avijit Roy. He was hacked to death in front of his wife at Dhaka university campus. The CJA welcomes the arrest of a key suspect who reportedly issued death threats to Roy on Facebook and demands exemplary punishment.”
Rita Payne, President of CJA International added: ” We join our colleagues in Bangladesh in mourning the brutal murder of a brave writer who was a passionate defender of freedom of expression. We urge the government to ensure that enemies of free speech will not be allowed to murder and threaten journalists and writers with impunity.”
– 3 March 2015