Bangladesh blogger becomes second to be murdered in a month

Mar 30, 2015

Photograph: Sourav Lasker/Demotix/Corbis

By Jason Burke  and Saad Hammadi

A blogger known for his atheist views has been stabbed to death in Bangladesh, in the latest of a series of attacks on independent writers in the developing south Asian nation.

Washiqur Rahman, 27, died of serious injuries inflicted in the assault on Monday morning in Dhaka, the capital.

Police have arrested two men for the murder, which comes just weeks after an American atheist blogger was killed in Dhaka, in a crime that triggered international outrage.

Local police chief Wahidul Islam told Agence France-Presse the victim had been “brutally hacked to death this morning with big knives just 500 yards [460 metres] from his home at Dhaka’s Begunbari area”.

Islam said the two detained men were arrested immediately after the attack as they tried to flee the scene.

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14 comments on “Bangladesh blogger becomes second to be murdered in a month

  • This like the insanity of the middle ages, like some mind virus attacking through a time warp. Pakistan is my least favourite country. It is such a wretched place on every level. It is so ironic that in such a terrible place the people work hard to increase their own misery.

    However, I remember reading some famous person making similar observations about Ireland, thinking the situation was utterly hopeless. Pakistan is populated with perfectly standard homo sapiens off on a belief tangent. It is distressing it is the youth who are the craziest in Pakistan. Time will not fix that.

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  • Hi Kimberyote,

    I don’t understand your comment.

    Human rights include freedom of conscience. That means you can choose to believe whatever you wish – even if other people think you are wrong. No matter how wrong religions might be people are free to believe in them.

    Washiqur Rahman’s human rights also included freedom of conscience. His right to not believe in a religion was violated, along with his rights to life, liberty and free expression.

    No one trespassed on the rights of his murderers. They are bad, and they are wrong – wrong for many violations of religious rights and human rights.


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  • There should not be religious right in a first place. Why? Is there something more human that comes from such right, or something worth of respecting?

    you can choose to believe whatever you wish – even if other people
    think you are wrong

    Yes. But only as an individual. Religion as an organisation is not worth of any respect in my opinion. This organisation is to blame for inhuman acts and of existing of laws that can hardly be called human. So just because some bunch of politicians have decided that religion views should be respected humanism have to stop?

    Who said that human rights include freedom of conscience? And if it is so, do conscience people have to respect conscience of mentally ill persons? Politicians have decided that religion is something to be respected. Based on what? What religion has to offer to societies that humanism can not? Politicians are humans, and hypocritical and venal people, and often they do not work in the interests of people, but in their own.


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  • Human “rights” are conventions, which only exist to the extent that communities and states support and enforce them.

    Anyone claiming “rights” for themselves, should be prepared to accept reciprocal rights for others.
    This is where tribalist bigotry fails in mixed cultures.

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  • Hi Modesti,

    The Human Right I can defend is freedom of conscience. We have a right to our own conscience, our own thoughts, our own perspective, our own moral conclusions.

    If that equates to a freedom of religion, so be it.

    Although there is a claimed spiritual aspect to religion (however you define spiritual) that most people recognise overlaps with individual conscience it is less than clear what that actually translates to in terms of free conscientious reflection. but I’ll set that aside. The religious claim an overlap with religion, just as they claim an overlap between religion and morals. In both cases the evidence is only a few (as a proportion of populations) anecdotes and the willingness of ignorant masses to recite creeds during rituals.

    Organised religions are political organisations.

    All organised political movements seek power.

    No true supporter of democratic principles has ever been recorded, to the best of my knowledge, confusing religious bids for power with the democratic process of free speech, equality, secret ballots, etc..

    I have, however, seen politicians – both those in religious costume and those in suits – making friends with religious leaders in the hope that they will preach politics to voters in their congregations, and giving religious leaders free seats on political organisations such as committees.

    This is a freedom that religion gains only through threat, or misrepresentation, or through a reputation they did not earn. This form of religious freedom I cannot support. Political power should be earned at the ballot box.

    Politicians are humans, and hypocritical and venal people, and often they do not work in the interests of people, but in their own.

    True. Over to you.

    I hope that clarifies what I meant.


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  • It is really alarming that the number of blogger killing is increasing fast and this is not quite satisfactory. The Government should take immediate steps to stop this.
    [Link to user’s website removed by moderator]

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  • We are at liberty to believe anything we choose, but that liberty carries with it responsibilities, principal among which is refraining from imposing those beliefs on others.

    And therein lies the problem with religious beliefs, in that those who hold them seem to think that they are mandated to “spread the good news” or Gospels; or, of course, commit atrocities in the name of those beliefs, or God.

    Religion dogma can induce the most awful cognitive dissonances and aberrant behaviour patterns, in even highly educated and intelligent individuals.

    And alarmingly, no one seems to know why.

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  • I’ve just heard an excellent example of how easily bending over backwards can descend into bending over forwards.

    On the radio just now, an ex British diplomat to Saudi Arabia was blathering on about cultural eqivalence concerning human rights in that country; flogging someone almost to death for blogging is worse than inhumane, it’s willfully sadistic.

    This apologist is demeaning himself in order to help enable my Government to sell arms to the Saudis!

    Is he doing it out of a sense of guilt as a subject of an ex Colonial power?

    Or is he just sucking up for the arms money; is he actually sucking up to them, or is he going down on them?

    Same difference I suppose.

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  • voiceofarabi
    Oct 28, 2015 at 4:38 am

    Surley the UN has laws against interfering in other countries?? Shouldn’t Saudi be stopped??

    The UN is a talking shop, where the big powers can ignore whatever they like to ignore, and enforce whatever private agendas they have raised for propaganda value. The UN has no effective independently funded enforcement mechanism.

    As we believe you guys have democracy and the people ultimately choose their government, who choose to help and arm the people who oppress us….

    The UK government is at present shouting about constitutional issues because the upper-house (Lords) has just bounced some mean legislation which was aimed at cutting benefits for the poor and disabled, to liberate money for tax-cuts for the wealthy supporters of the Tory government!

    As in the US, the public is struggling against the manipulative media.
    For every one person who knows what is going on, there are at least 10 who think they “know better” because they read some propagandist drivel in a tabloid comic which was sold to them as a newspaper, and told them what to think!

    This covers many issues! We are debating one such article on GMO over here:-

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