New York, August 7, 2015–Bangladeshi authorities should immediately investigate the murder today of a secular blogger who was hacked to death by six assailants with sharp weapons in his home in the capital, Dhaka, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The blogger, who is known as Niloy Neel, frequently criticized religious extremism in the Muslim majority country and advocated for minority rights and secular ideas, according to news reports. Neel is the fourth blogger to be hacked to death in Bangladesh in six months.
“How many more bloggers must be murdered before the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina acts decisively to stem the violence and impunity?” said CPJ Asia Program Research Associate Sumit Galhotra. “We call on the Hasina government to take urgent steps to bring the perpetrators of this barbaric murder to justice and protect all journalists under threat.”
Neel’s last name is also being identified in news reports as Chatterjee, Chowdhury, and Chakrabarti. In 2013, his name appeared on a widely circulated list calling for the deaths of 84 bloggers perceived to be atheists. The BBC reported that Neel identified as a secular atheist and came from a Hindu background–similar to two other bloggers killed earlier this year. Avijit Roy was killed in February, and Ananta Bijoy Das was hacked to death in May. Another blogger, Washiqur Rahman Babu, was murdered in March. Seventeen journalists, including Roy, Das, and Babu, have been murdered in Bangladesh since 1992, when CPJ began keeping records. Most of the cases have not been resolved.