Third Blogger Hacked to Death within 3 Months

Originally published on May 13, 2015, at NationofChange.org

Masked men with machetes ambushed a secular blogger on Tuesday morning and hacked him to death on his way to work in Bangladesh. Although the victim’s name was reportedly on a list of targets compiled by Islamic extremists for assassination, police have not arrested anyone for his murder. Ananta Bijoy Das has become the third blogger within the last three months butchered in public for supporting science and reason over religious fundamentalism.

According to police, Das was headed to work at a bank in the city of Sylhet when four masked assailants attacked him on the street with machetes. Sylhet Metropolitan Police Commissioner Kamrul Ahsan told reporters, “They chased him down the street and first attacked his head with their machetes and then attacked him all over his body.”

After the attackers fled into the early morning crowds, Das was transported to a hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. Although Das worked for a bank, he also contributed to the blog Mukto Mona(Free Mind) and was the editor of a scientific magazine named Jukti (Reason). While mainly writing about science and evolution, Das had also been critical of religious fundamentalism and recent violence against secular thinkers.

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Stop Abusing Human Rights Activists and Union Leaders

Originally published on August 19, 2014, at ForceChange.com

Target: Abdul Hamid, President of Bangladesh

Goal: End the violence against human rights defenders and union leaders supporting workers’ rights

The police and pro-government groups are attacking union leaders participating in a hunger strike in Bangladesh. Human rights activists attempting to give medical supplies to the striking workers have been beaten and arrested. The government of Bangladesh needs to investigate these attacks and charge the guilty officers of excessive force.

At least 1,200 workers have been on a hunger strike since July 28, 2014. The workers are protesting in Hossain Market and demanding three months of unpaid wages. Human rights activists and doctors visit the workers, providing medical treatment and saline drips.

On August 6, police and members of a pro-government workers’ union barricaded the market to prevent doctors and human rights defenders from helping the striking workers. Targeting activists and union leaders, the police and pro-government groups savagely beat several human rights defenders and arrested them. Instead of engaging in retaliatory violence, the workers continued their hunger strike.

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