Another Blogger Hacked to Death in Bangladesh
Another blogger killed
NEW DELHI: A month after the brutal murder of atheist blogger Avijit Roy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, blogger Washiqur Rahman was attacked and killed close to his home in the capital city’s Begunbari area.
“He was brutally hacked to death this morning with big knives just 500 yards [460 metres] from his home at Dhaka's Begunbari area,” local police chief Wahidul Islam told AFP. Two men have been arrested in connection with the attack.
Although police have not officially commented on Rahman’s writings, another social media writer told AFP that Rahman was known to write “against religious fundamentalism.” “It appeared Rahman used to write using a pen-name Kutshit Hasher Chhana [Ugly Duckling],” Imran Sarker, head of Blogger and Online Activists Network in Bangladesh said. “He was a progressive free thinker and was against religious fundamentalism,”
The attack comes just weeks after the murder of Avijit Roy that sparked international outrage. Roy, an engineer of Bangladeshi origin, was killed by machete-wielding assailants as he and his wife -- Rafida Bonya Ahmed -- were returning from a book fair in Dhaka on February 26. The attack took place near the Teacher Student Center intersection of Dhaka University, and was claimed by Islamist outfit Ansar Bangla.
The incident prompted the country’s Law Commission to comment on the “general” and “helpless” way people are being targeted in the country that has, in turn, compromised faith in the judicial system. Roy’s wife, who suffered head injuries and lost a thumb in the attack, had initially pointed to police failure in preventing the attack. “While Avijit and I were being ruthlessly attacked, the local police stood close by and did not act,” Rafida told Reuters. Now, we demand that the Bangladeshi government do everything in its power to bring the murderers to justice.”
Roy’s father, Ajay Roy, also accused the police of negligence in the crime and said officers allowed the attackers to escape, adding that he was "not satisfied" with the investigation.
Rahman and Roy’s murders follow a string of deaths on writers, bloggers and journalists in the country. According to the “2014 World Press Freedom Index” released by Reporters Without Borders in January this year, Bangladesh ranked a low 146 of 180 nations. Ahmed Rajib Haider, an atheist blogger was hacked to death on February 2013, by machete-wielding activists from a militant group associated with the Jamaat-e-Islami party. Haider, an architect by profession, ran a blog that was instrumental in demanding trials for the perpetrators of the mass killings during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, a move that was widely seen as aimed at radical Islamists. Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi, two well-known married Bangladeshi journalists were stabbed to death in February 2012; the motive is still to be determined. Another blogger, Asif Mohiuddin, was stabbed and accused of blasphemy.