A mob hacked to death secular blogger Niloy Chakrabartu, who used the pen name Niloy Neel, on Friday in Bangladesh. Chakrabartu is the fourth blogger murdered by alleged radical Islamists in the republic this year.
“They entered his room in the fifth floor and shoved his friend aside and then hacked him to death,” explained Imran H. Sarker, head of the Bangladesh Blogger and Activist Network. “He was a listed target of the Islamist militants.”
The men told Chakrabarti and his wife they wanted to rent a flat, but attacked him when they entered the home. Officials told AFP that Chakrabarti’s wife “was confined to another room” where she screamed, “Save us!” but no one answered.
He recently posted on Facebook that two strangers followed him after he attended a protest over Ananta Bijoy Das’s murder, the secular blogger murdered in May. He claimed the police “refused to register his complaint.”
These are the five bloggers who were attacked this year:
August 6 – Niloy Chatterjee, blogger, hacked to death at his home in Dhaka.
May 12 – Ananta Bijoy Das, blogger for Mukto-Mona website, killed while on his way to work in the city of Sylhet.
March 30 – Washiqur Rahman Babu, blogger, hacked to death by three men in Dhaka.
February 26 – Avijit Roy, a prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger, killed while walking with his wife outside Dhaka University.
“He was critical against religions and wrote against Islamist, Hindu, Christian and Buddhist fundamentalism,” stated Asif Mohiuddin, a blogger who survived an attack in 2013.
He also said Chakrabarti was an atheist.
A protest occurred at the Shahbagh Square after news spread about Chakrabarti’s murder.
“We’re protesting a culture of impunity in Bangladesh,” exclaimed Sarker. “One after another blogger is being killed and yet there is no action to stop these murderers.”
Bloggers have fled Bangladesh while many others remain in hiding. Canadian blogger Farid Ahmed helped many leave the republic. Amnesty International is applying pressure on the Bangladesh government to do more to protect the bloggers.
“There is little doubt that these especially brutal killings are designed to sow fear and to have a chilling effect on free speech,” stated David Griffiths, the South Asia research director. “The price for holding opinions and expressing them freely must not be death. The Bangladeshi authorities now have an urgent duty to make clear that no more attacks like this will be tolerated.”