Prominent blogger and author Avijit Roy and his wife, Rafida Ahmed Banna, were attacked on the street in Dhaka by a group of armed Islamists on a crowded sidewalk. Roy suffered from major head wounds and died shortly after the attack during an emergency operation. His wife barely survived the attack.
Roy, an American citizen, was nominated in The Bobs in 2014 in the Best Blog category and known for speaking out against religious extremism. His blog “Mukto-Mona,” or “Free Mind,” was regarded as one of the key platforms and voices for liberal secularism in Bangladesh. The Bobs Bengali jury member, Shahidul Alam said such actions cannot be allowed to continue and posted this picture:
Roy is not the first victim of radical Islamists in Bangladesh. In 2013, atheist blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider was murdered in a similarly brutal fashion. The Bobs 2012 prize winner Asif Mohiuddin was also seriously injured when he was stabbed in January 2013.
The Bobs to join Shihidul Alam’s call. These horrible acts of violence – and other ones like them – against atheists in Bangladesh cannot be allowed to continue.