25 APRIL: INTERNATIONAL DAY TO DEFEND BANGLADESHI BLOGGERS

From Maryam Namazi of One Law For All:

‘The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and others have called for 25 April to be an international day to defend Bangladesh’s bloggers and activists. Please spread the word, sign this petition today, and stand with and for Bangladeshi freethinkers.

As you may know, in January, 29 year old blogger Asif Mohiuddin was stabbed. In February, 35 year old atheist blogger involved in the Shahbag protests, Ahmed Rajib, was brutally killed. Islamists continue to threaten prominent bloggers and have called for the “execution of 84 atheist bloggers for insulting religion”. Rather than prosecute the Islamists, the government has arrested some bloggers and shut down blogs and sites.

We unequivocally condemn the attacks on and threats against atheist, secularist and freethinking bloggers and call on the Bangladeshi government to guarantee their safety, respect free expression and prosecute Islamists who threaten, attack and harm critics.

On 25 April, we urge groups and individuals to rally at Bangladeshi embassies, contact members of parliament in their countries of residence, highlight the situation, write protest letters, carry out acts of solidarity, Tweet #Bangladesh #Bloggers and more.

You can find more information here.’

In case you are not aware, Bangladeshi Islamists have been calling for including the death penalty for transgressing Bangladesh’s blasphemy laws:

Blasphemy laws are being implemented in more and more countries.  Russia, for example, is preparing a blasphemy law so unreasonable (in every sense of the word) that the mere teaching of evolution and the Big Bang Theory would violate it.  And don’t even get me started on the UN…

We must fight this trend of normalizing penalties for blasphemy – an integral part of free speech.  Supporting the Bangladeshi bloggers is a small step in the right direction!

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