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Rally Announced In Solidarity with Murdered Bangladeshi-American Writer Avijit Roy

 

Washington, DC  (March 12, 2015) – On March 12, 2015, Drishtipat DC, an all-volunteer network of individuals promoting human rights and social justice in Bangladesh announced a public rally protesting the recent killing of a secular activist.  The rally, titled “Standing with Avijit,” protests the February 26 murder of Bangladeshi-American humanist blogger Avijit Roy by religious extremists in Dhaka.

 

“We are here to rally, to stand with Avijit and Bonya,”  wrote Drishtipat DC on their Facebook page for the event. “We are united in our grief and outrage. We stand for free speech and open discourse. We call on the government of Bangladesh to conduct a swift and thorough investigation. We want to see a Bangladesh that is secular and tolerant and where divergent points of view are not only accepted but allowed to thrive.”

 

The attack of Avijit, which also critically injured his wife and fellow blogger Bonya Ahmed, has drawn broad condemnation from the United States government, as well as religious, secular, and human rights groups worldwide.  Nevertheless, secularists note that the killing is one in a pattern of attacks on secularists by religious hardliners in Bangladesh.

 

“We are seeing a trend, we’re seeing a pattern here.  It has happened to Dr. Humayun Azad. It has happened to Asif Mohiuddin–(he) was stabbed, he survived. There was another blogger, Rajib (Haider), stabbed to death,” noted Bonya Ahmed on BBC in her first interview since the attack. “We were there only a few days. If they can act so quickly, in such an organized way, in such a public place, maybe it’s time for us to reevaluate what kind of situation we are dealing with.”

 

The “Standing with Avijit” rally will take place from 3-5 PM on March 21, 2015, at the Dupont Circle Fountain in Washington, DC.  Drishtipat DC urged all individuals who support free speech and open discourse in Bangladesh to attend and offer their support. The event can be followed at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Drishtipat-DC/244151672325996. Questions may be directed to [email protected]

 

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