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<nettime> Bangladesh: Secular humanist Avijit Roy hacked to death in Dha
Harsh Kapoor on Fri, 27 Feb 2015 20:08:55 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Bangladesh: Secular humanist Avijit Roy hacked to death in Dhaka -


[News reports and statements follow]

Dhaka Tribune 26 February 2015 (22:45 hrs)

Writer Avijit Roy hacked to death
DU Correspondent , DMCH Correspondent
His wife blogger Bonna also sustains severe injuries in the attack

Blogger and writer Avijit Roy has been killed and his wife, blogger
Rafida Ahmed Bonna, severely injured when unidentified miscreants
hacked them at TSC of Dhaka University on Thursday night.

Avijit, son of DU teacher Dr Ajay Roy and also the founder of
Mukto-mona Blog, and his wife have been admitted to Dhaka Medical
College Hospital in critical condition immediately after the attack.

Later, he died while undergoing treatment around 10:30pm, said
Shahbagh police station OC Sirajul Islam.

Bonna told the Dhaka Tribune: âTwo miscreants attacked us with cleaver
near TSC intersection around 8:45pm.â

Witnesses said some unidentified miscreants swooped on the bloggers
and hacked them mercilessly between 8:30pm and 9pm while they were
returning from the book fair, leaving them critically injured.

OC Sirajul said: âWe do not have any clear idea about the attackers.
But, the police is suspecting that those, who attacked Humayun Azad,
might be behind this as the attacking style suggested similarity.â

On February 27, 2004, professor Humayun Azad was attacked on the way
back from book fair, in the following August he died in Germany.

Miscreants also exploded two crude bombs outside of the DMCH around
11:30pm, immediately after the news spread in the city.

A group of people have staged a protest in front of the DMCH,
protesting the killing.

DU Proctor Amjad Ali said: âI came to know the writer had been
receiving threats from militants because of his anti-communal

Among the teachers of Dhaka University who rushed to Dhaka Medical
College hospital hearing the news of the attack, were Professor Dr
Abul Barkat, Professor Anwar Hossain.

Professor Anwar Hossain said the those, who are against the countryâs
liberation, democracy, free thoughts and attacked Humayun Azad, have
perpetrated this.

Liton Nandi, Dhaka University Chhatra Union president, told the Dhaka
Tribune they were set to bring a torch procession, protesting the
attack and killing in a short time.

Dhaka University teacher Robayet Ferdous told the Dhaka Tribune that
the teachers and student of Dhaka University will hold a rally at TSC
in protest against the killing at 11am Friday.

Dhaka city unit Political Affairs Secretary of Studentsâ Federation
Refat Salam told the Dhaka Tribune:"we will bring out a protest
procession on DU campus around 11am Friday."

Earlier in 2014, online bookstore Rokomari.com stopped selling books
by the well-known writer after an Islamic militant issued death
threats on Facebook to the websiteâs owner.

The decision to withdraw his books was prompted by death threats
posted to Facebook by Farabi Shafiur Rahman, an Islamist extremist
allegedly linked to Jamaat-e-Islami.

Farabi accused Avijit of defaming Islam and the âprophetâ Mohammed and
accused Rokomari.com chairman Mahmudul Hasan Sohag of âpromoting
atheismâ by selling his books.

In his Facebook post, Farabi specified the office address of
Rokomari.com and called upon his âIslamist friendsâ in the adjacent
locality to attack.

He also told Sohag that he would suffer the same fate as Ahmed Rajib
Haider, a popular blogger known by the psuedonym Thaba Baba, who was
hacked to death last year by machete-wielding Islamic militants.

Avijit, a Bangladesh-born engineer, who was living in the United
States, rose to prominence with his books on philosophy, scientific
thought and human rights issues.

Among his books are Biswas and Bigyan (Belief and Science),
Abishwasher Darshan (philosophy of atheism), Samakamita: Baigyanik
ebong Samajmanastattik Anusandhan (Homosexuality: Scientific and
socio-psychological intervention), Satantra Bhabna o Buddir Mukti
(individual thoughts and freedom of thoughts) etc.

Avijit and his wife came to Bangladesh to attend the book fair as two
of his books came out in the fair.

o o o

Avijit murdered by extremists: Family
Staff correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2015-02-27

o o o

Dhaka Tribune, 15:49 february 27, 2015

Immediate arrest of Avijit killers demanded
DU Correspondent

Protesters have demanded immediate arrest of the killers of blogger
and writer Avijit Roy.

People from social, cultural and political sphere, including different
student organisations, DU teachers, journalists and writers, thronged
on Raju Bhaskarja premises in Dhaka University around 11:15am on
Friday to protest the killing.

They said the attack was aimed at the freedom of speech and democracy.

Talking about Humayun Azad, Rajib Haider and others who became prey of
fundamentalism and militancy in similar attacks, the speakers termed
the incident as an unacceptable failure of the government and the

The speakers said the incident saw yet another recurrence, only
because none of the previous ones were tried.

Human rights activist Dr Hameeda Hossain said: "It is very frustrating
that the policemen and people around the spot did not come forward to
help Avijit and his wife during the incident."

She also stressed the need of united resistance in order to avoid the
repetition of such brutal attacks.

Journalist Kamal Lohani said: âNow the task for all of us is to raise
resistance against these criminals, who had perpetrated the heinous

âIt is a surprise how it could take place before the eye of the law
enforcers when they had already boosted security in that area.â

Professor Anwar Hossain said: âThere must be a link between the
ongoing anarchy in the name of BNP-Jamaatâs strike with the attack.
The government can not avoid its responsibility as it has failed to
try similar crimes before.â

Professor MM Akash said the evil force is actively working against the
free thinking and trying to subvert against the free thoughts which
come through writings mainly.

Human rights activist Khushi Kabir said the masterminds behind such
heinous killing want to resist free thinking, independence and
democratic atmosphere.

âUsing religion in the attempt of resisting free thinking would not be
accepted,â she said.

Khushi questioned the responsibility of on-duty police who were
reportedly seen inactive during the attack.

International Crime Tribunal Prosecute Rana Das Gupta said the on-duty
policemen must be brought to book as they were careless.

He demanded exemplary and immediate punishment of the attackers.

DU Professor Robayet Ferdous urged for impartial investigation of the
attack immediately.

Among others, DU professor Shafiul Alam Bhuayan, Junayed Saki and
leaders of left-leaning student organisations including Chhatra Union,
Chhatra Federation, Chhatra front were present.

Meanwhile, Gonojagoran Moncho activists also staged protest in front
of the national museum in Shahbagh.

Imran H Sarkar said the nation lost another great child to the militants.

Unidentified miscreants hacked blogger and writer Avijit Roy to death
and seriously injured his wife Rafida Ahmed Bonna at the TSC
roundabout on Dhaka University campus on Thursday night.


Post by Taslima Nasreen on her Blog

Free thinker humanist Avijit Roy was killed by Islamic terrorists today.

Avijit Roy (42) was an engineer, science writer, blogger, atheist,
feminist, humanist, freethinker, human rights activist, courageous
defender of reason and free speech, and the founder of mukto-Mona blog
site for Bengali free thinkers. He lived in the USA, but came to
Bangladesh for a week or so to attend the inauguration of his new
books at the national book fair in Dhaka. After the inauguration of
his book tonight he and his wife left the book fair at around 9 pm.

And then when they were on their way to home and not far from the book
fair, Islamic fanatics stopped their rickshaw, dragged them onto a
sidewalk and hacked Avijit to death. The wife has been severely

Avijitâs father Dr Ajoy Roy is a former professor of physics at the
Dhaka university. He is also a writer and free thinker.

Avijit Roy was an extra ordinary talented person. He dedicated his
life to enlighten people who live in the darkness of ignorance. I knew
him for twenty years. I admired him so much. It is so painful to
accept that he is no more. Bangladesh has become a secret ISIS land.
Islamic terrorists can do whatever they like. They can kill people
with no qualms whatsoever. Avijit Roy has been killed the way other
free thinker writers were killed in Bangladesh. No freethinker is safe
in Bangladesh.
Bangladeshi Islamists have been killing atheist and humanist bloggers
and writers. Â Â My obituary

Taslima Nasreen
February 27, 2015

o o o

Humanists appalled at the murder of secular activist and writer Avijit Roy

[26 February 2015]

The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) is sickened and
appalled to hear that secular blogger Avijit Roy has been murdered in
Bangladesh a few hours ago.

âAbhijit Roy lives in America and so, it is not possible to kill him
right now. He will be murdered when he comes back.â

These were the words of an Islamist activist referring to Avijit (or
Abhijit) Roy early last year. The man making the threat, who is
well-known to the authorities, has repeatedly and openly talked about
wanting to see secular and freethought writers dead, and those under
threat have complained that authorities have ignored his threats and
incitement, despite his credible links to Islamist extremists and
similar murders taking place.

Tonight, IHEU joins with freethinkers and humanists from Bangladesh in
calling for an end to this fatal appeasement of death threats by the
authorities in Bangladesh.

Avijit Roy was a well-known writer, founder of the freethought
blogging platform Mukto-Mona, which he described to IHEU as âan
Internet congregation of freethinkers, rationalists, skeptics,
atheists, and humanists of mainly Bengali and South Asian descentâ. He
had previously provided IHEU with analysis around the arrest and
threats against âatheist bloggersâ in Bangaldesh in 2013. [. . .].

o o o

Center for Inquiry Statement on the Murder of Dr. Avijit Roy,
Bangladeshi Ally and Friend
February 26, 2015

* * * UPDATE: Read Dr. Royâs final article for Free Inquiry, to be
published in the upcoming April/May issue: âThe Virus of Faith.â [PDF]
* * *

We at the Center for Inquiry are shocked and heartbroken by the brutal
murder of our friend Dr. Avijit Roy in Bangladesh, it is speculated at
the hands of Islamic militants. Dr. Roy was a true ally, a courageous
and eloquent defender of reason, science, and free expression, in a
country where those values have been under heavy attack.

[Roy] Dr. Roy was the founder of the website Mukto-mona, an online
network of freethinkers of mainly Bengali and South Asian descent, as
well as the author of several books, and a contributor to our own
magazine Free Inquiry and our Free Thinking blog. When seven
Bangladeshi atheist bloggers were arrested in blasphemy in 2013, Dr.
Roy worked closely with us to connect us with the bloggers and their
families, focus the international communityâs attention on the
injustice, and help organize and promote protests around the world.

According to news reports, Dr. Roy and his wife Rafida Ahmed Bonna,
also a freethought writer, were attacked while leaving a book fair at
Dhaka University by several unidentified assailants, who witnesses say
âhacked at them mercilessly.â Both were brought to Dhaka Medical
College Hospital where Dr. Roy died, and Bonna is being treated for
her severe injuries. Dr. Roy has long been at the receiving end of
death threats, been publicly accused of âdefaming Islam,â and violence
against him has been encouraged by Islamic militants.

âI cannot overstate how great a loss this is,â said Michael De Dora,
CFIâs chief UN representative and friend of Dr. Roy. âAvijit was
brilliant, yes, and a devoted advocate of free expression and
secularism, but also just a very good person. Avijit was an
inspiration to countless other freethinkers, in Bangladesh and around
the world, and he was an inspiration to me. I valued our friendship
deeply, as I valued his contributions to our shared mission. I will
miss him, and the global freethought community will feel the impact of
his loss. His example will no doubt continue to shine.â

The Center for Inquiry urges the authorities of Dhaka and Bangladesh
to thoroughly investigate this crime and bring the perpetrators to
justice. While it is not known for certain what motivated this attack,
surely this tragedy must spur a serious discussion among officials in
Bangladesh about free expression, and the roots of the kind of violent
extremism that would so brutally take away such a valued member of its

We extend our deepest condolences to Rafida Ahmed Bonna, and we
sincerely hope she receives both justice and a quick and full

Read Dr. Royâs Free Inquiry article, co-authored with his daughter
Trisha Ahmed: âFreethought Under Attack in Bangladeshâ

Read Dr. Royâs guest post at our Free Thinking blog: âNo Flag Large
Enough to Cover the Shameâ

o o o

Letter to the International Journal of Cardiology
by Avijit Roy

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