Rallying behind atheist bloggers in Bangladesh

Well done CFI Canada.

On April 4, CFI Canada Board Chair Kevin Smith and National Director Michael Payton met with Andrew Bennett, the Ambassador for Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom. At the meeting CFI got a  commitment from the Ambassador that the ORF will support and protect the rights of all people to question, change and even leave their religion. Today, concerned about the fate of atheist bloggers in Bangladesh, CFI sent the following letter to Ambassador Bennett urging him to send a formal protest to the Bangladeshi government on behalf of the persecuted bloggers:

Dear Ambassador Bennett:

Thank you for the very productive meeting last week. CFI is pleased to be working with the Office of Religious Freedom as it addresses the issues affecting religious and non-religious people around the world.

During our meeting on April 4, we discussed the increasing tensions in Bangladesh affecting atheist bloggers. In January 2013, a 29 year old blogger, Asif Mohiuddin, was stabbed to death in Bangladesh. In February, a second blogger, 35 year old Ahmed Rajib, was attacked and brutally killed. The violence against atheist bloggers continues. In March, Islamists continued to threaten prominent bloggers and have called for the “execution of 84 atheist bloggers for insulting religion.” Rather than defend freedom of expression, religion and belief, the Bangladeshi government has arrested several bloggers for “hurting religious sentiments,” under Section 295A of the Bangladesh Penal Code. Home Minister M.K. Alamgir recently announced that the government has a list of seven more bloggers who will also soon be targeted. On April 11, a newspaper editor was arrested for printing quotations from the targeted bloggers.

Read the rest at Veronica’s blog.

Maryam has a rallying call and a suggested petition to sign.



  1. auniket says

    Dear Ophelia,

    I thank you from the bottom of my heart as a Bangladeshi. It is urgently needed to have a global mobilization to rally for the bloggers. However, I also wanted to point out an inaccuracy: Asif Mohiuddin was not “stabbed to death” – he survived (thankfully) and now he is one of the bloggers who were arrested, e.g. see this. Thanks again.

  2. Imran says

    Things are far worse here, I am from Bangladesh and a free thinker.
    May I correct one thing, Asif Mohiuddin was stabbed but he was not killed. Recently he has been arrested by police for “insulting” religion and now he is in jail with three other atheist Rasel Parvez, Subrata shuvo and Moshiur Rahman Biplob. And one other atheist calling himself “Profane Prohphet (Nastik Nabi)” was also stabbed.
    Moreover, two more people were arrested as they “LIKE”d an anti religious Facebook page.
    Things are such worse, and crazy Islamist are sending death threats so frequently.

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