SANSAD News-release, March 30, 2015
Deplore the Murder of Writers in Bangladesh
South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD) deeply mourns and deplores the killing of free-thinking blogger, Washiqur Rahman, who was hacked to death near his home in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Monday, March 30. This is latest in a series of murders of secularist writers in Bangladesh: Abhijit Roy, the US-bases engineer and outspoken atheist who founded the free-thinking blog, Mukto Mona was similarly murdered in Dhaka earlier this month. There have been three other such killings since 2004. Violence against writers have led the international media group, Reporters Without Borders to place Bangladesh 146th in a list of 180 countries in their ranking of press freedom in 2014.
Washiqur Rahman wrote a satirical blog under the pen-name of Kutshit Hasher Chhana (Ugly Duckling) championing secular values and condemning religious extremism and repression of ethnic minorities. Two of his killers who have been captured have been identified as belonging to religious schools, one near Chittagong and the other in Dhaka.
The death of Abhijit Roy provoked international outrage and brought out hundreds of writers and artists to the streets in Bangladesh to demand justice for the killing and adequate protection for secularist writers. There will no doubt be such protests and demands again for Washiqur Rahman, the young man killed for upholding humanist values in a country that began with a secular constitution. We join our voice to the courageous activists, writers, and artists in Bangladesh who continue to uphold the values of secularism, democracy, and human rights, including the freedom of belief and expression. We affirm that these are the values that will bring to an end the dark days of political violence in Bangladesh. We stand in solidarity with secularists in Bangladesh in demanding justice for the dead and protection for those who write.