PEN Guatemala protests by the murder of prominent secular writer and blogger Avijit Roy on 26 February 2015. The motive for the murder is unknown, but according to his family he had received numerous threats from religious extremists in connection with his secular writings. PEN calls for a full investigation into the murder of Avijit Roy so that those responsible are brought to justice.
Roy is the second blogger to have been murdered in Bangladesh in the past two years, and the fourth writer to have been attacked since 2004. Hardline Islamist groups have demanded the public execution of atheist bloggers and sought new laws to combat writing critical of Islam.
PEN Guatemala is alarmed at the ongoing pattern of violence against writers and journalists in Bangladesh, who appear to be targeted with impunity solely for the peaceful expression of their views, and calls on the Bangladeshi authorities to ensure that the necessary measures are taken to bring the perpetrators to justice.
We express serious concern at the crackdown on bloggers and journalists in Bangladesh, who are targeted with apparent impunity solely for their critical writings;
We remind the authorities of their obligations to Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Bangladesh is a signatory.
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