Death of secularism in Bangladesh
World

Death of secularism in Bangladesh

8 Aug 2015 | By Vaneet Randhawa

4th secular blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh

Niloy Chakrabarty Neel, a 40 year Bangladeshi blogger was killed at his flat by 5 Islamist militants belonging to the Bangladeshi branch of Al-Qaeda.

This is the fourth such death of a secular blogger in Bangladesh.

Neel was an activist of the Ganajagaran Mancha, which demanded capital punishment for war criminals who carried out attrocities in the 1971 war.

Timeline

Feb 2013: When all the blogger slaughter began

These acts of butchering started in February 2013 with the death of Rajib Haidar.

An online activist, Haider made vehement demands for the death sentence of Abdul Qader Molla, a Jamaat-e-Islami leader, convicted of war crimes during the 1971-war.

Molla had been sentenced to life-imprisonment.

There were massive rallies in Dhaka in support of the demand which finally led to Molla's hanging in 2013.

Fact: Hit list against secular bloggers

In 2014, a group named "Defenders of Islam in Bangladesh" released a "hit list" of writers it saw as opposing Islam. 84 bloggers were listed on the list and 9 of them have already been killed.

27 Feb 2015: Founder of Mukto-Mona killed by extremists

Founder of Mukto-Mona killed by extremists

Avijit Roy, an American blogger of Bangladeshi origin was brutally murdered to death with machetes by unidentified assailants in Dhaka.

Roy had been receiving threats from Islamists to stop his blogs.

Avijit Roy, was the founder of the blog site Mukto-Mona (Free-mind) which brought forward liberal secular writing in the Muslim-majority nation.

Hundreds of people denounced the murder of the blogger.

30 Mar 2015: Yet another free thinker meets his death

A free thinking blogger Washiqur Rahman was attacked by two assailants with knives in a busy street in Bangladesh

The police arrested 2 students at an Islamic seminary in relation to the murder.

The suspects said that Mr. Rahman had been targetted for "his anti-Islamic writing".

The death raised concerns worldwide for the freedom of speech in Bangladesh with the rise of such murders.

13 May 2015: Bangladeshi Islamist target another rational blogger

On 13 May 2015, another secular blogger Ananta Bijoy Das was hacked to death with cleavers and machetes.

Like the other bloggers killed before him, Das too had posted critical blogs online and had received threats for the same.

Das was a champion of science which openly criticised some of the religious views; he was also the editor of science magazine 'Jutki' (Reason).

7 Aug 2015: Government under fire over murders

Government under fire over murders

The government of Bangladesh is being condemned by a number of human rights groups.

David Griffiths, South Asia Research Director at Amnesty International said that these murders were unacceptable and that such incidents have an adverse effect on free speech.

The Committee to Protect Journalists also urged PM Sheikh Hasina's government to take action to end this bout of violence.

8 Aug 2015: 4th secular blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh

31 Oct 2015: Radicals kill another publisher, injure 3 others

In a fresh surge of violence, a secular books publisher Deepan of the Jagriti Prokashoni was hacked to death.

Three other people Ahmed Rahim Tutul, Ranadeep Basu and Tareque Rahim too were attacked by Muslim radicals

These attacks were carried out on those who had dared to publish works of Avijit Roy, the Bangladeshi-American blogger who was killed in February 2015.

2 Nov 2015: UN urges Bangladesh to provide security to free-thinkers

UN urges Bangladesh to provide security to free-thinkers

Taking into consideration the death of bloggers, publishers and freethinkers the United Nations requested the Bangladeshi government to give security to them.

Robert Watkins, the UN Resident Coordinator denounced Mr. Dipan's murder and attack on others.

He said that the attacks were "aimed to intimidate and restrict" the right to free speech.

Booksellers in Bangladesh closed their shops in protest against the attacks.

31 Dec 2015: Death for killers of Bangladeshi blogger Ahmed Rajib

Two people were sentenced to death for the murder of the Bangladeshi atheist blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider in 2013.

Six others were convicted of involvement in the murder

A five-year sentence was given to the head of Ansarullah Bangla, the group suspected of carrying out the attack.

Haider was the first in a string of secular writers who have been murdered in Bangladesh.

7 Apr 2016: Law student critical of radicalism hacked to death in Bangladesh

Nazimuddin Samad, a masters student of Jagannath University's law department was killed by machete-wielding militants.

Like the previous secular victims hacked to death in Bangladesh, Samad too was critical of radical Islamists and used to campaign for secularism on Facebook.

He was stabbed and then fired at by men shouting Allah Akhbar.

Samad's companion has been missing since the incident took place.

23 Apr 2016: Another free thinking professor hacked to death in Bangladesh

Another free thinking professor hacked to death in Bangladesh

A university professor from Bangladesh's Rajshahi city was killed by 2 unidentified persons.

The killing bore a stark resemblance to the previous murders by Islamist militants of atheist and secular activists in Bangladesh.

Rezaul Karim Siddique, an English professor was hacked with machetes while walking to his home from the bus station.

He is the 4th professor from Rajshahi to have met this fate.