There is a serious threat to freedom of thought, expression and political opinion in Bangladesh. Atheist and freethinking voices are the target (including the three bloggers paraded by the authorities in the image above).
Islamist political parties have provided government with a list of 84 “atheist bloggers” and are demanding the death penalty for “insulting religion”. Several bloggers have already been arrested and a government official promised to pursue all those listed.
Last week, we said the government would be “walking into a trap set by fundamentalists” if they gave any succour to these demands. But they did. And on Friday a rally on the order of 100,000 Islamists marched in Dhaka (video) calling for a new blasphemy law and for the execution of the atheist bloggers. Earlier this year a prominent atheist blogger was murdered in a machete attack at his home, so we are also concerned about the safety in public of those accused of “blasphemy”.
We are urging IHEU Member Organisations and humanists everywhere to act now in solidarity with the bloggers and to put an end to the threats and intimidation.