Photo: MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images.
The horrifying murder of a blogger who was hacked to death in Dhaka this morning, the second violent killing of a Bangladeshi blogger in a month, must be a “wake up call” to the authorities on the need to create a safe environment for journalists and activists to express their views, said Amnesty International.
Washiqur Rahman was killed near his home in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka. Two men have been arrested near the scene. Police has said the blogger was attacked for his alleged “anti-Islamic” writings.
His murder comes a month after US-based writer and atheist blogger Avijit Roy was killed with a machete while visiting the Bangladeshi capital. He had previously received threats for his atheist views. Police have arrested one suspect.
“The despicable murder of Avijit Roy last month should have led authorities to step up protection measures for bloggers and others at risk. The killing of Washiqur Rahman today is another clear example of the Bangladeshi government’s utter failure to ensure the safety of those at risk. How many more bloggers will have to be attacked before action is taken?” said Abbas Faiz, Bangladesh Researcher at Amnesty International.
“Authorities must immediately and thoroughly investigate both killings, ensure those suspected of committing the crimes are brought to justice and ensure meaningful protection for journalists and bloggers at risk of attack.
“Perpetrators must see that they will not get away with these heinous acts and must be brought to justice. The lack of prosecutions on these types of cases, even after investigations are carried out, sends a message that these barbaric actions are tolerated.
“The message must be crystal clear: freedom of thought and expression are basic human rights which must be fully respected by all.”
The message must be crystal clear: freedom of thought and expression are basic human rights which must be fully respected by all.Abbas Faiz, Bangladesh Researcher at Amnesty International