Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Solidarity and Love to Our Bangladeshi Sister and Brother Bloggers

with 5 comments

Embedded image permalink

Love and Solidarity to our Beloved Bangladeshi Sisters and Brothers.

Rory Fenton writes in the Independent.

“Words cannot be killed”. This is the Facebook cover page of Bangladeshi blogger Washiqur Rahman. It’s a statement of solidarity with Avijit Roy, the Bangladeshi-American atheist blogger who was murdered last month in the capital of Dhaka by religious extremists.

Just this morning, Rahman suffered a similar fate to Roy’s. He was surrounded and stabbed to death by suspected extremists while on his way to work, in the middle of a busy street. He was 27 years old.

Far from just being two random murders, these attacks are the methodical work of vigilante extremists working through a list of atheist bloggers. The list was drawn up last year when 100,000 protesters called on the government to introduce the death penalty for blasphemy. The government refused to introduce death penalty, but it did begin a crack down on the country’s free-thinking blog community. It shut down some of its most popular sites, and imprisoned bloggers accused of “offending religious feelings”. Once known as the only place where non-religious Bangladeshis could gather safely, the internet suddenly became unsafe for atheists wanting to air their views.

Fenton’s conclusion is bleak.

This weekend I arrived in Bangladesh with the naïve hope of writing about wide-eyed idealists fighting the fight no matter what, fuelled with the zeal of Je Suis Charlie. The reality on the ground is much harsher: atheists are being hunted down for both religious retribution and political gain. Washiqur Rahman was right: words cannot be killed. But a struggling movement can only take so much battering, and Bangladeshi atheism is fighting to survive.

The Dhaka Tribune notes,

UN concerned over attacks on journalists, intellectuals

Tribune Online Report

The United Nations has expressed deep concern over attacks on different journalists and other intellectuals in Bangladesh in recent times.

 “…it’s a matter of tremendous concern that different journalists and other intellectuals have been attacked,” said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, at a regular briefing at the UN headquarters on Monday.

He said the UN has been calling for the respect of basic rights in Bangladesh, including the rights of people to freedom of expression.

Farhan Haq, however, said he does not have any high-level travel to Bangladesh to announce at this stage. “…but you’re aware of our concerns.”

Blogger Washiqur Rahman was hacked to death in Tejgaon Industrial area of Dhaka on Monday morning.

Avijit Roy, a Bangladeshi American online activist, writer, blogger known for pioneering Bengali freethinkers’ weblog-forum, Mukto Mona, was killed and his wife, blogger Rafida Ahmed Bonya, severely injured when unidentified miscreants hacked them at TSC of Dhaka University.

For Bangladesh the British Humanist Association states,

Following Avijit’s death, campaigners in Bangladesh and around the world called on Bangladesh to do more to protect its humanist bloggers. In addition to Washiqur, Avijit, and Ahmed, who all died as a consequence of expressing non-religious beliefs and criticising religious power, various others such as Asif Mohiuddin were attacked and left with potentially fatal wounds.

The Bangladeshi writer and exile Taslima Nasrin paid her respects to Washiqur via Twitter. In her comment, she warned that ‘Bangladesh is not a place for freethinkers.’

There are growing calls on Bangladesh to legislate to prevent further blasphemy-related reprisals. Earlier this month, the British Humanist Association (BHA) raised the issue of reprisals against perceived blasphemers to the UN Human Rights Council, urging states to explicitly outlaw such attacks amid a wave of violence targeting the non-religious around the world. Blasphemy-related killings have very low prosecution and arrest rates, and there is a strong perception that those who kill for blasphemy are able to act with impunity.

BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented, ‘Our thoughts are with Washiqur’s friends and loved ones throughout this harrowing ordeal. Once again, Bangladesh has lost a son, this time a satirist who criticised religious fundamentalism. How much more blood must be shed before Bangladesh will take action to protect its citizens? Bloody reprisals in response to perceived blasphemy have become an endemic problem, and states like Bangladesh must affirm the human right to express one’s own beliefs without fear of attack, and do more to prevent such attacks from happening in future.’

In Bangladesh itself this is the reaction of Bloggers,

Bangladesh bloggers show solidarity for Washiqur Rahman.

Washiqur Rahman was attacked and killed near his home in Dhaka. The online activist is the second blogger killed in Bangladesh since February. Fellow activists call him a “warrior” for liberty and worry who will be next.

See more here.

We atheist and secular bloggers across the world have a duty to support our beloved Bangladeshi sisters and brothers.

At present we have backed the campaign to support the imprisoned  Saudi blogger Raif Badawi (see Facebook).

It is a matter of urgency that we do all we can to back the Bangladeshi free thinkers.

Hash-tag: #WordsCannotBeKilled

Protest in Bangladesh after second blogger hacked to death.

Dhaka, March 31 (ANI): Bangladesh’s people’s resurgence platform, Gonojagoron Mancha, staged protest in Dhaka after a blogger was hacked to death by machete-wielding assailants. It was the second attack in five weeks on a critic of religious extremism in the Muslim-majority South Asian nation. Washikur Rahman, a secular blogger, was attacked by young religious students on a busy street in the centre of Dhaka. The killing comes just weeks after US secular blogger Avijit Roy was hacked to death while returning with his wife from a book fair in Dhaka. His wife, Rafida Bonya Ahmed, suffered head injuries and lost a finger in the February 26 attack. The protesters of Gonojagoron Mancha marched onto the streets demanding strict action against the murderers as they shouted slogans and raised banners.

 

Worldwide Protests for Free Expression in Bangladesh

UK

London: The British Humanist Association is holding a leafleting protest from 10-4 p.m. outside the Bangladesh High Commission in London. Volunteers are asked to email pavan@humanism.org.uk.
28 Queen’s Gate London SW7 5JA

Written by Andrew Coates

March 31, 2015 at 11:43 am

5 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. If the OIC get their way on criminalising criticism of religion ie Islam, this will only grow and the UN won’t even make token noises of complaint.

    Sue R

    March 31, 2015 at 1:12 pm

  2. “Bangladeshi blogger Washikur Rahman was not just killed. His head was cut wide open in several places. The madrassa students accused of murdering him were sending a message. That a brain thinking thoughts against theocracy, denouncing the use of politics to enforce Islam on others, would not be tolerated. They literally tried with meat cleavers to get at Rahman’s mind. To cut away the thoughts he held.

    This was not just murder. This was butchery to silence a mind that was against the use of political power to enforce religion on others. Secularism cannot be tolerated by extremists because it defends all citizens to have the religious views they wish.”

    https://homoeconomicusnet.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/blogger-washikur-rahman-murdered-in-bangladesh/

    Andrew Coates

    March 31, 2015 at 5:15 pm

  3. It certainly always struck me as odd that a leftist would use a name like SouthpawPunch.

    “Southpaw is a boxing term that designates the stance where the boxer has his right hand and right foot forward, leading with right jabs, and following with a left cross right hook. Southpaw is the normal stance for a left-handed boxer. The corresponding designation for a right-handed boxer is orthodox, and is generally a mirror-image of the southpaw stance.”

    Boxing….???

    Is this Queensberry Rules?

    “This dual nature is clear in the work of Jihadi John – both killing imperialist spies (I’m sorry, ‘aid workers’) as well as brave and admirable individuals e.g. the Salford taxi-driver.

    It would be better to imprison POWs, not kill them and I condemn such actions.

    But what do you think will kill more – those guys with knives or USAF, RAF planes?

    Who is the main enemy here? Imperialism.”

    https://shirazsocialist.wordpress.com/2015/02/26/shiraz-maher-on-cage-prisoners-and-jihadi-john/#comment-84871

    Andrew Coates

    March 31, 2015 at 5:59 pm

  4. here is an amusing Hitler video about John Rees and Counterfire.

    there’s been no comment on this story at all from the Swappies. i wonder why?

    kimchee

    March 31, 2015 at 10:12 pm

  5. by the way, was the above ‘Hitler’ counterfire video made by someone in the AWL? i also suspect someone from the CPGB.

    kimchee

    April 2, 2015 at 1:02 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: