A blogger was hacked to death in the Bangladesh capital on Monday, in the latest brutal attack on the country’s independent writers, a senior officer said.
Police have arrested two men over the murder which comes just weeks after an American atheist blogger was also hacked to death in Dhaka ─ a crime that triggered international outrage, the officer said.
“He was brutally hacked to death this morning with big knives just 500 yards [460 metres] from his home at Dhaka’s Begunbari area,” local police chief Wahidul Islam told AFP. Islam said the men were arrested immediately after the attack while they were trying to flee the scene. Police said they were unsure whether the victim, Washiqur Rahman, 27, was also an atheist blogger but another social media writer said that he was known to write “against religious fundamentalism”. “It appeared Rahman used to write using a pen-name Kutshit Hasher Chhana [Ugly Duckling],” Imran Sarker, head of Blogger and Online Activists Network in Bangladesh, told AFP.
“He was a progressive free thinker and was against religious fundamentalism,” he said. Police have also arrested a suspect over the killing, in February, of American atheist writer and blogger Avijit Roy. Roy was the second atheist blogger to have been murdered in the Muslim-majority country in the last two years, and the fourth writer to have been attacked since 2004. His killing sparked an uproar at home and abroad, with hundreds of secular activists holding protests for days to demand justice. They also slammed the country’s secular government for not doing enough to protect humanist writers.