Protests rise in Bangladesh over recent attacks

Rallies erupt in Bangladesh following deadly attacks on secular writers and publishers

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Students, teachers and writers while protesting against the killing of Faisal Arefin Deepan in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Students, teachers and writers took on streets of Bangladesh after men attacked and killed secular writers and publishers in the city of Dhaka.

The protesters gathered at Dhaka University saying that the government did not stop the violence against the victims.

"First they targeted the writers, and now the publishers and soon they'll target all of us," university teacher Samina Lutfa shouted at the rally.

"Don't stay at home, come out on the street and protest these killings," she continued to shout. 

Violence has been a serious issue in the country, as this is not the first incident against secular writers. Four other bloggers were also killed this year.

Al Qaeda has taken responsibility for the attacks and has warned other writers about their lives.

Faisal Arefin Dipan, 43, was found dead in his office in the city of Dhaka. His death is believed to be linked with the American-Banhaladeshi secular writer, Avijit Roy, who was hacked to death earlier this year.

Avijit had said that he wanted “to build a society which will not be bound by the dictates of arbitrary authority, comfortable superstition, stifling tradition, or suffocating orthodoxy but would rather be based on reason, compassion, humanity, equality and science.”

In another incident on the same day, Dipan was killed, along with another attack on the owner of  Shuddhaswar’s Publisher, Ahmedur Rashid Tutul, who suffered life threatening injuries, but survived and two other secular bloggers.

"It's a failure of the government that it has not been able to prosecute the killers," said Imran Sarker, head of the Secular Bloggers' Group, who organised the protests.

"There is a climate of impunity in which these militants now operate brazenly," he said.

Although Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attacks, police have not yet confirmed who is responsible, causing many bloggers to flee the country.

TRTWorld and agencies