Worldwide Protests Planned in Support of Bangladeshi Atheist Bloggers Under Attack

Atheist bloggers in Bangladesh have been under attack for a while now. Violence broke out not long ago after they were accused of criticizing Islam. They’ve been censored and threatened to no end. And one citizen has already been brutally attacked.

Next week, the Center for Inquiry, the International Humanist and Ethical Union, American Atheists, and CFI-Canada are planning worldwide protests in support of those brave bloggers:

With these unprecedented demonstrations, secularists around the world will express their solidarity with those jailed for speaking their minds about religion. Protesters will draw global attention to the plight of those persecuted for exercising their rights to freedom of belief and expression, and attempt to spur the international community to take action and compel the government of Bangladesh to change course.

“The events in Bangladesh are only the latest instance of a fierce global crackdown on ‘blasphemy,’ with the criminalization of atheism and religious dissent,” said protest coordinator Michael De Dora, director of CFI’s Office of Public Policy. “To all those who believe that the freedom of expression is a fundamental human right, we call upon you to join us, religious believer and atheist alike. We can show those whose lives and freedoms are threatened that they are not forgotten, and send a message to these oppressive regimes that their abuses will not be ignored.”

Right now, protests are scheduled in the U.S. and Canada, but others will be added to The List soon. You can also use the hashtag #DefendDissent on Twitter to keep up with the protests.

I don’t know that anything will change, but the more attention these protests draw, the better off we all are. We all support free speech, and criticism of religion, especially in countries with oppressive regimes, is often the first to be condemned. These bloggers deserve our support.

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