Int’l community condemns violence on liberal minds
The international community today strongly condemned the brutal killing of publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan and attacks on the online community in Bangladesh.
Terming such violence on liberal minds in Bangladesh as “very concerning”, they demanded that authorities bring to book the perpetrators and provide immediate protection to the citizens thought to be at risk.
The condemnations came after unknown assailants hacked to death Faisal Arefin Dipan of Jagriti Prokashani at Aziz supermarket in Shahbagh and critically injured Shuddhoswar's Ahmedur Rashid Tutul and two bloggers Ranadipam Basu and Tareq Rahim in the capital’s Lalmatia area yesterday.
In a statement, the UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh, Robert D Watkins said this murder and violent assault are unacceptable and aimed to intimidate and restrict the right of individuals to express their opinions freely.
He said these killings must be condemned at all levels of political and religious leadership in order to prevent further attacks, and stressed on brining to justice the perpetrators and immediate protection to citizens thought to be at risk.
“Like the murders of Niloy Chakrabarti, Washikur Rahman, Ananta Bijoy Das, and Avijit Roy earlier this year, these heinous acts underscore the importance of our governments’ joint efforts to counter violent extremism,” the US embassy in Dhaka said in a statement.
“Our thoughts are with their families, friends, and the Bangladeshi people… we stand with Bangladeshis, who reject these vicious acts, and work to protect freedom of expression”
Condemning the gruesome murder and attacks of Saturday, German Embassy in Dhaka said these two incidents were only the latest of several disturbing events including the bomb hurl on the Shia procession in Old Dhaka and the multiple attacks on religious minorities all over the country.
It urged Bangladesh to take all necessary steps to thoroughly investigate these assaults, take all necessary measures to ensure safety of liberal minds in the country, and strengthen the freedom of speech for every citizen irrespective of their religious or political beliefs.
Stating that secularism is one of the core values of Bangladesh that is known for a peaceful coexistence of people with different religions and opinions, German Ambassador Dr Thomas Prinz said the recent incidents are not only an assault on individuals, but rather attacks on the fundamental right of freedom of expression.
“These barbaric assaults endanger the successful development of Bangladesh of the last decades,” he said.
The diplomat said these attacks further increase a climate of fear in this country, and that they support Bangladesh government in openly rallying behind the universal principles of freedom of expression and freedom of religion.
Condemning the killings, Shushashoner Jannoy Nagorik demanded immediate arrest and exemplary punishment of the attackers.
“We think this is not only an attack on Faisal Arefin Dipan but also free thinking, freedom of expression and over all democratic values,” said a press statement signed by Shujan President M Hafizuddin Khan and its secretary Dr Badiul Alam Majumder.
“We are also concerned because there was no satisfactory investigation carried out on the killing of earlier five bloggers,” it said.