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Friday, April 8, 2016, Chaitra 25, 1422 BS, Jamadius Sani 29, 1437 Hijri


US indicates to grant refuge to BD bloggers facing danger
Observer Online Desk
Published :Friday, 8 April, 2016,  Time : 2:23 PM  View Count : 30
The United States has condemned the 'barbaric' murder of Bangladeshi online activist Nizam Uddin Samad and indicated that granting refuge to a select number of bloggers who face 'imminent danger' is under consideration.

"...my understanding is that for a select number of bloggers who continue to be under imminent danger, that that is one option that's under consideration," said Mark C Toner, Deputy Spokesperson of the US Department of State, at a regular briefing in Washington, DC on
Thursday.

Toner, however, said this is a process run by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

He made the remark when a journalist wanted to know about the latest status of US position as couple months ago, human rights advocates wrote a letter to Secretary John Kerry that talked about this wave of killings and asked him to see if it was possible to give people who are threatened in this way refuge in the US.

"I don't know - I'll have to see if that's actually - if there are individuals who are taking advantage of that. I just don't have clarity on it...we can probably get an update whether it's actually been - it's actually in train. I just don't know," the Deputy Spokesperson added.

Toner said the law student (Samad) was apparently killed for speaking out against 'violent extremism' in Bangladesh. "We offer our
condolences to Samad's family and our unwavering support to the Bangladeshi people in their struggle against violent extremism."

Nazim Uddin knew and Bangladesh's history has shown that violence will not defeat Bangladesh's proud tradition of free and independent
discourse. "So we stand with the Bangladeshi people in rejecting this vicious act and uniting to preserve a tolerant and inclusive society
that protects freedom of expression."

He said the United States will continue to support the government of Bangladesh in its efforts to combat terrorism, counter violent extremism, and bring to justice those who commit such heinous acts.

Samad, a master's degree student of Jagannath University and said to be an organiser of Ganajagran Manch, a secular campaigning group, was killed in the city on Wednesday.

The United Nations, European Union, Amnesty International and local rights bodies condemned the killing.

UNB/LY







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