Protect activists as per their wishes, AI tells Dhaka | Greenwatch Dhaka | The leading online daily of Bangladesh

Protect activists as per their wishes, AI tells Dhaka

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Dhaka – The Amnesty International has said Bangladesh authorities must ensure that those activists and writers now under threat are effectively protected in accordance with their wishes.
The vicious killing of another secular activist in Bangladesh is a grave reminder that the authorities are failing to protect people exercising their right to freedom of expression, said the global rights watchdog.Four masked men attacked Nazimuddin Samad, 26, with a machete in Dhaka late Wednesday night before shooting him dead.
“There can be no justification for the brutal killing of Nazimuddin Samad, who has apparently paid with his life for nothing but being brave enough to speak his mind. This is not just a senseless murder, it is a blatant attack on the right to freedom of expression,” said Champa Patel, South Asia Director from Amnesty International.
Nazimuddin Samad was a student activist who had organised campaigns for secularism on social media. He was named on a ‘hit list’ of 84 bloggers published by a group of radical Islamists in 2013, said the AI.
“Bangladeshi authorities must categorically condemn these killings and take serious steps to end this horrific cycle of violence. Those responsible for the killings of secular activists must be held to account, anything less will send a signal that these attacks are tolerated and permitted by the government,” said Champa Patel.
In 2015, at least five people – four bloggers and one publisher – were killed because of their secular opinions and writings, said the AI.
“No one has yet been held to account for these killings and the Bangladeshi authorities have failed to strongly condemn the attacks.”
Instead, they have instructed secular activists to stop “offending” religious sentiments through their writings.
Dozens of other bloggers have been forced into hiding or exile, fearing for their lives. – Agencies

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