The Bangladeshi authorities must send a strong message that killings aimed at silencing dissenting voices are despicable and will not be tolerated, Amnesty International said in reaction to the news that blogger Niloy Neel was hacked to death at his home in the capital Dhaka today.
Known for his secularist views, he is the fourth blogger to meet such a brutal fate at the hands of machete-wielding groups this year.
“This spate of savage killings must end here. There is little doubt that these especially brutal killings are designed to sow fear and to have a chilling effect on free speech. This is unacceptable,” said David Griffiths, South Asia Research Director at Amnesty International.
“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. Thorough, effective, independent and impartial investigations must be carried out promptly to ensure that all those responsible are brought to justice in fair trials without recourse to the death penalty.”
Three other bloggers were targeted in similar killings in the country since February this year – Avijit Roy, Washiqur Rahman and Ananta Bijoy Das.