Bangladesh: horrific pattern of violence against freedom of expression

The brutal attacks against two publishers of secular writers, including the slain blogger Avijit Roy, and their colleagues in Bangladesh today is further chilling evidence of the horrific pattern of violence against people exercising their freedom of expression in the country.

“We are deeply shocked by today’s news of yet more attacks against independent voices in Bangladesh,” said Abbas Faiz, Bangladesh Researcher at Amnesty International.

“The situation in Bangladesh is becoming increasingly dangerous for those brave enough to speak their own minds. The latest heinous criminal attacks are a deliberate assault against freedom of expression in the country.

“Given the horrific pattern of violence, we have reason to believe many other lives are now at risk.  

“We are calling on the Bangladesh authorities to act urgently to ensure the protection of others in the country against such horrific and targeted violence.

“It is the government’s responsibility to do everything possible to find the attackers and bring them to justice. This can only be done through a thorough, effective, rigorous and independent investigation.

“The cycle of violence and impunity must stop here. The right to freedom of expression, of all people, must be respected, protected and fulfilled.”

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Bloggers who have been  targeted in similar killings in the country this year include: Avijit RoyWashiqur Rahman, Niloy Neel and Ananta Bijoy Das.