Three Sachalayatan bloggers Ranadipam Basu, Tareq Rahim and Ahmedur Rashid Tutul, who is also the owner of the publishing company Sudhdhasor, were attacked in an attempt to kill on 31st October, 2015. Within few hours of the first attack the owner of another publishing company named Jagriti and a blogger Faisal Arefin Dipan was hacked to death. According to the latest news, the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), a wing of the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda claimed the responsibility for both the attacks. At the time of writing, Ranadipam, Tareq and Tutul were in stable condition. You can get live update on the attack in Bengali from this post by Haseeb Mahmud.
Bloggers and progressive writers are being killed in a regular basis in Bangladesh. Unfortunately, except few minor captures not much progress has been made to find the leader of the killing squad Ansar Al Islam. The series killing of bloggers and progressive activists started on February 15, 2013, on the tenth day of the Shahbag movement, with the killing of Rajib Haider. At the time, the political faction of the 1971 war criminals killed Rajib to thwart the momentum of the Shahbag movement. Later with the help of the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda Avijit Roy, Washikur Rahman, Ananta Bijoy Das, and Niladri Chatterjee were killed one by one, in order to embarrass the Awami government of Bangladesh, stop the future movement by free thinkers and strengthen the presence of Al-Qaeda in Bangladesh. In the same vain, Arefin Dipan was killed and Ahmedur Rashid Tutul, Ranadipam Basu and Tareq Rahim were attacked to kill yesterday.
We are tired of writing press releases after every death, when our hearts are broken and our spirits are shaken. Two and half years have passed after Rajib’s death, but the Awami government could not stop the attacks from happening. Delivering the justice is beyond the question when the Bangladesh government could not even find the main planner and the responsible person behind the attack. Just like the extremist religious political organizations are responsible for these attacks, the Awami government is responsible for the failure to thwart the same. It is especially baffling since our honorable prime minister is very familiar with the pain of loss of family members. Moreover, her son, the honorable ICT advisor of the government, Sajib Wajed Joy used to write blogs. Will the prime minister stay inactive when the terrorist organizations do something bad to Joy because he was a blogger? Because of these reasons, the inactivity of our prime minister breaks our hearts.
We strongly condemn the killing of Dipan and five others and the attack of on Tutul, Ranadipam and Tareq. Those of us, who live in other countries, please call or email your senator and congressman urging to take action on this attack on freedom of speech. We will publish a template for a letter and ways to contact them soon. If you personally know a politician, please contact him/her to express your concern. If you have an idea on the matter please feel free to share with us.
In addition to the online and offline protests please take actions to keep you safe. If you suspect some unusual activity around you, please contact the law enforcement agency and ask your friends for help. Please consider to keep a weapon with you and receive training on its use. Please keep in mind that a personal weapon is your first line of defense during a terrorist attack.
Our protest for freedom of speech will go on. The struggle to save ourselves will go on at the same time. We wish for your safety.