Avijit Roy Hacked to Death in Bangladesh

Avijit Roy Hacked to Death in Bangladesh February 27, 2015

This is an absolutely tragic story. Dr. Avijit Roy, a Bangladeshi blogger who has been living in the United States, returned to his home country for a book show and was hacked to death, almost certainly by extremist Muslims who consider him an apostate for his atheist views.

Blogger and writer Avijit Roy has been killed and his wife, blogger Rafida Ahmed Bonna, severely injured when unidentified miscreants hacked them at TSC of Dhaka University on Thursday night.

Avijit, son of former DU teacher Dr Ajay Roy and also the founder of Mukto-mona Blog, and his wife have been admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital in critical condition immediately after the attack.

Later, he died while undergoing treatment around 10:30pm, said Shahbagh police station OC Sirajul Islam.

Bonna told the Dhaka Tribune: “Two miscreants attacked us with cleaver near TSC intersection around 8:45pm.”

Witnesses said some unidentified miscreants swooped on the bloggers and hacked them mercilessly between 8:30pm and 9pm while they were returning from the book fair, leaving them critically injured.

OC Sirajul said: “We do not have any clear idea about the attackers. But, the police is suspecting that those, who attacked Humayun Azad, might be behind this as the attacking style suggested similarity.”

Roy had written for many atheist and humanist magazines in the United States, including Free Inquiry and the American Atheists magazine. I did not know him but many of my friends did and they universally adored him. CFI put out a statement:

We at the Center for Inquiry are shocked and heartbroken by the brutal murder of our friend Dr. Avijit Roy in Bangladesh, it is speculated at the hands of Islamic militants. Dr. Roy was a true ally, a courageous and eloquent defender of reason, science, and free expression, in a country where those values have been under heavy attack.

Roy was the founder of the website Mukto-mona, an online network of freethinkers of mainly Bengali and South Asian descent, as well as the author of several books, and a contributor to our own magazine Free Inquiry and our Free Thinking blog. 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.”

My heart aches for Michael and the many other mutual friends we shared. This barbarism must stop.

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