A secular blogger has been hacked to death at his home in Dhaka, Bangladesh by a MUSLIM gang armed with machetes, making it the fourth killing of its kind in the Muslim-majority country this year.
CNN A group of Muslim attackers hacked a Bangladeshi blogger to death Friday in his apartment in the capital of Dhaka, authorities said. The killing of the secular blogger, who uses the pen name Niloy Neel, was at least the fourth this year targeting those who posted online pieces critical of Islam.
Neel wrote posts condemning the recent killings of three other bloggers in his country. He also routinely posted on women’s and minority rights, communal violence and the oppression of Hindus in Bangladesh.
Dhaka Police spokesman, Muntashirul Islam, used a different name for the blogger, whom he referred to as Niloy Chakrabarti. He was killed in his apartment Friday afternoon by a group of five or six men, the spokesman said. “We know that Niloy used to work for nongovernmental organizations in the past but we are not aware of his journalistic identity. We are investigating,” he added.
Ashamoni, wife of blogger Niloy Neel, cries at her house in Dhaka Friday.
Neel contributed to the Mukto-Mona (Freethinker) humanist blogging platform established by Avijit Roy, who was murdered in February.
Rights group Amnesty International urged Bangladesh’s government to send a strong message that killings aimed at silencing dissent are “despicable” and will not be tolerated. “This spate of savage killings must end here,” said David Griffiths, South Asia research director at Amnesty International.
“There is little doubt that these especially brutal killings are designed to sow fear and to have a chilling effect on free speech. This is unacceptable.” The British Humanist Association said Neel’s murder “shows a new degree of daring on the part of Muslim extremists in Bangladesh,” carried out as it was in his own home rather than on the street.
“This latest murder demonstrates once again if further proof were needed that the culture of impunity for these Islamist vigilantes in Bangladesh has become firmly entrenched,” said chief executive Andrew Copson.
n 2014, Reporters Without Borders reported that a group calling itself Defenders of Islam in Bangladesh had published a “hit list” of writers it saw as opposing Islam.
“They listed 84 bloggers, mostly secularists. They listed 84 of them,” said blogger Asif Mohiuddin, whose name was on the list. “Nine of them are already killed and many of them were attacked.”