12 May 2015

Bangladesh bloggers: Clear pattern to killings

.... The deaths are reminding people of the last days of Bangladesh's independence war against Pakistan in 1971. In December of that year, more than 200 writers, professors, poets and other secular-minded intellectuals were abducted from their homes by a fanatical Islamist group called al-Badr.

Many of the intellectuals were never found again. Bodies were found with bullet holes, the victims having been blindfolded and their hands tied behind their backs.

.... The government now appears to be walking a tightrope.

There is little doubt the prime minister wants to pursue a secular future for Bangladesh. But she appears to have little time for atheists who are on a collision course with Islamists.

The bloggers don't just want protection from killers and justice for those murdered - they also want to enjoy the freedom of speech that is enshrined in the constitution. The government does not seem to think that freedom should stretch to the criticism of religion.

And Islamist extremists want to strike terror into the hearts of such writers and bloggers through targeted killings. [BBC] Read more