Wave of condemnation after Bangladesh blogger murder

Demands grow for government to act as fourth blogger is cut down by extremists in six months

Wave of condemnation after Bangladesh blogger murder

World Bulletin / News Desk

Since blogger Niladri Chattopadhyay was brutally killed on Friday afternoon in Dhaka, criticism has spread across Bangladesh and elsewhere.

The vice-chancellor of the University of Dhaka, Professor AAMS Arefin Siddique, criticized the murder and demanded swift action from the authorities.

He told Anadolu Agency: “The sooner they act to bring them [the killers] to justice, the quicker they would be able to stop it, otherwise it will be too late to control these heinous murders.”

Blogger and activist Supriti Dhar wrote online: “I knew Niloy at least for two years…since I heard the news, I am feeling sick…don’t know what I should do.”

University of Dhaka law professor Asif Nazrul told Anadolu Agency: “This is very barbaric and it reveals a government failure to establish the rule of law in Bangladesh.”

The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kaye and on extrajudicial executions, Christof Hayns, have both condemned the killing.

In a statement they said: “The organized targeting of critical voices aims at promoting a culture of silence and fear, and affects the society as a whole.”

Radicals hacked Niloy to death at his house around Friday prayer time in the Bangladeshi capital.

A group called Ansar al-Islam – a branch of al-Qaeda in the region – claimed responsibility for the murder in an email sent to the media the same day.

Amnesty International and other human rights groups condemned the assassination and demanded the authorities catch the killers.

Niloy, 40, was an activist with Ganajagaran Mancha – a group active in demanding capital punishment for those convicted of committing war crimes during the country’s independence struggle in 1971.

He wrote blogs under the name of ‘Ishtishon’ [Station] and regularly posted comments on his social networking sites under profile name ‘Niloy Neel’.

In one of his status updates, written on May 15, he wrote that he felt his life was under threat, that he was under surveillance and later visited police to file a complaint. He claimed the police did not cooperate, rather advised him to leave the country.

He is the fourth blogger to be killed in the last six months after Ananta Bijoy Das was murdered in May. Bloggers Washikur Rahman and Avijit Roy were murdered in March and February respectively.

The U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists’ Asia Program Research Associate Sumit Galhotra wrote in a statement: “How many more bloggers must be murdered before the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina acts decisively to stem the violence and impunity?”

Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Ağustos 2015, 16:43