US-Bangladesh blogger Avijit Roy hacked to death
Attackers in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka have hacked to death on 26th February 2015 a US-Bangladeshi blogger whose writings on religion angered Islamist hardliners.
Avijit Roy, an atheist who advocated secularism, was attacked as he walked back from a book fair with his wife, who was also hurt in the attack.
No-one has been arrested but police say they are investigating a local Islamist group that praised the killing.
Hundreds of people gathered in Dhaka to mourn the blogger’s death.
Mr. Roy’s family say he received threats after publishing articles promoting secular views, science and social issues on his Bengali-language blog, Mukto-Mona (Free Mind).
He defended atheism in a recent Facebook post, calling it a “rational concept to oppose any unscientific and irrational belief“.
His Mukto-mona website on Friday bore the message in Bengali “we are grieving but we shall overcome” against a black background.
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki described it as an assault on Bangladesh’s proud tradition of free intellectual and religious speech.
‘Den of militants’
A group of men ambushed the couple, who live in the US and were visiting Dhaka only to attend the book festival, as they walked toward a roadside tea stall.
At least two of the attackers hit the couple with meat cleavers in the attack on Thursday evening, police chief Sirajul Islam told AP news agency.
Dropping their weapons, the attackers ran away, disappearing into the crowds.
Police told the BBC they were investigating a local hard-line religious group that had praised the killing in an online message.
Ajay Roy, a father of the dead man, urged the authorities to find the killers and “ensure exemplary punishment”.
“This Bangladesh which was built by the blood-sacrifice of the martyrs has now turned into a den of militants,” he said.
Students, teachers, and bloggers gathered at Dhaka University on Friday to protest against the killing.