Press release

Bangladesh: ARTICLE 19 responds to the tragic murder of blogger Washiqur Rahman

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ARTICLE 19

30 Mar 2015

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Commenting on the killing of Washiqur Rahman, Tahmina Rahman, Director, Bangladesh and South Asia, ARTICLE 19 said:

“It is tragic that we have witnessed once again the murder of another young blogger, so soon after the death of Avijit Roy.  We strongly condemn the attack, and call for a prompt and open investigation to ensure the perpetrators, and masterminds of this crime, are brought to justice.

“Indeed this is the third murder of a blogger since 2013, and no-one has been convicted for any of these crimes.”

Washiqur was attacked this morning reportedly by three assailants armed with machetes, at the Dipika Mosque Lane in Begunbari area of Tejgaon an industrial area in the capital Dhaka.  He was taken to the Dhaka Medial College Hospital where he was pronounced dead.  Washiqur Rahman used to write on the popular Bangladeshi blog site Somewhereinblog under the pseudonym uglyduckblog (Kutshit Hasher Chhana). He also maintained a Facebook account under the name “Washiqur Babu” his real name.  He had apparently been under constant threat from religious groups after his posting of a Facebook status.

Bloggers from all over the country have expressed their condemnation. Among them were renowned bloggers and online activists including Animesh Rahman, Arif Noor, Ali Naser Khan, Choto Mirza, Camelia Foring, Faria Rista, Jibananda Joyonto, Muzaffar Hossain, Nasreen Sumi, Nahid Sultana, Rafat Noor, Rilon Khandakar, Rodela Nila, Shahadat Hossain Shipu and Shaminmuzzaman. Speaking to ARTICLE 19 they said:

“All killings must be condemned, but to be killed for exercising one’s freedom of expression is not just an attack against the individual, but also the State.

It is the primary responsibility of the State to protect journalists, bloggers and online activists from acts of violence perpetrated against them.”

The police told ARTICLE 19 that they have arrested two of the suspected assailants, whilst the other suspected assailant escaped.