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Sunday, November 1, 2015, Kartik 17, 1422 BS, Muharram 18, 1437 Hijri


UN, EU, US, France condemn attacks on publishers, bloggers
Observer Online Desk
Published :Sunday, 1 November, 2015,  Time : 9:02 PM  View Count : 13
The United Nations, the European Union, the United States and France have denounced the latest attacks on publishers and bloggers in the country.

Condemning the killing of publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan and the continued violence against the on-line community, the United Nations has said the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

The UN, in a statement from its Bangladesh office on Saturday night, said this murder and the violent assaults on Ahmedur Rashid Tutul, Tariq Rahim, and Ranadipan Basu are unacceptable as the attacks were aimed at intimidating and restricting the rights of individuals to express themselves freely.

UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Robert D Watkins said these killings must be condemned at all levels of political and religious leadership to prevent further attacks.

"The perpetrators must also be brought to justice and the authorities need to provide immediate protection to citizens thought to be at risk," he added.

Ambassador of the European Union to Bangladesh Pierre Mayaudon has deplored the latest attacks against freedom of expression in Bangladesh.

He expressed his condolences to the family of late Faisal Arefin Dipan and his solidarity to injured publisher Ahmedur Rashid Tutul, writer Ranapidam Basu and blogger Tarek Rahim.

"These tragic circumstances call for the government to further ensure that freedom of expression and belief are respected," he said in a statement on Saturday night.

Ambassador Mayaudon said he is confident that prompt action by law enforcement agencies and unity of the people of Bangladesh will deter the fanatics from committing further crimes.

Denouncing the 'cowardly attacks' on publishers and bloggers the United States said these acts underscore the importance of joint efforts to counter violent extremism.

"Like the murders of Niloy Chakrabarti, Washikur Rahman, Ananta Bijoy Das, and Avijit Roy earlier this year, these heinous acts underscore the importance of our governments' joint efforts to counter violent extremism," the US embassy in Dhaka said in a statement.

The Embassy said their thoughts are with their families, friends, and the Bangladeshi people. "We stand with Bangladeshis who reject these vicious acts and work to protect freedom of expression," said the statement.

The France Embassy in a separate statement said the assassination of Faisal Arefin Dipan and the attack on Ahmedur Rashid Tutul, Ranadipam Basu and Tareque Rahim cast a terrible light on the international day against impunity in Bangladesh.

Dipan and Tutul had courageously published the works of Avijit Roy, blogger and writer assassinated on February 26, 2015, including: ‘Biswaser Virus’ (The Virus of Faith) and Obishawasher Dorshon (the Philosophy of Disbelief), it said.

"France, sharing the pain of the relatives of the victims, condemns with the utmost firmness these obscurantist attacks, and stands with all women and men of good will in Bangladesh to fight against violent extremism and terrorism," the statement read.

The embassy also said November 2 is the International Day to end impunity for crimes against journalists.

The date was proposed to the UN by France to honour the memory of two French journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, murdered in Mali Nov 2, 2013.

"Journalism is no longer the sole preserve of news printed on paper. Journalists with a press card no longer have a monopoly on information dissemination and debate on ideas. Other vectors, online, are used. Other actors, bloggers, appeared," the statement said.

Every year, like journalists, these new actors pay a heavy price for freedom of expression and opinion, it added.

UNB/RI







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