Bangladeshi Freethinker Dr. Avijit Roy Killed, Presumably by Islamic Extremists

Last night, as author Dr. Avijit Roy (below) and his wife Rafida Ahmed Bonna were returning home from a book fair in Dhaka, Bangladesh where they were promoting Roy’s latest work, two assailants came after them with cleavers and “hacked them mercilessly.”

Roy died shortly afterwards and Bonna is in critical condition.

The Center For Inquiry, which worked closely with Roy, is in shock:

When seven Bangladeshi atheist bloggers were arrested in blasphemy in 2013, Dr. Roy worked closely with us to connect us with the bloggers and their families, focus the international community’s attention on the injustice, and help organize and promote protests around the world.

“I cannot overstate how great a loss this is,” said Michael De Dora, CFI’s chief UN representative and friend of Dr. Roy. “Avijit was brilliant, yes, and a devoted advocate of free expression and secularism, but also just a very good person. Avijit was an inspiration to countless other freethinkers, in Bangladesh and around the world, and he was an inspiration to me. I valued our friendship deeply, as I valued his contributions to our shared mission. I will miss him, and the global freethought community will feel the impact of his loss. His example will no doubt continue to shine.”

In his honor, you may want to read the Mukto-Mona blog Roy contributed to as well as some English-language pieces he authored for CFI’s publications.

Let’s hope local authorities can find the assassins and bring them to justice.

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