American blogger, Avijit Roy, hacked to death by opponents of free speech

The New York Times reports from Dhaka, Bangladesh: A Bangladeshi-American blogger known for his antipathy to religion was hacked to death on the street in this capital city by two assailants wielding machetes, the police said on Friday.

The victim, Avijit Roy, who the local news media said was about 40, was leaving a book fair with his wife on Thursday evening when his attackers approached him from behind, according to the police. His wife, Rafida Ahmed, suffered a blow to the head and was in critical condition in a Dhaka hospital, said Sirajul Islam, an officer at the Shahbag police station, where Mr. Roy’s father reported the assault.

The police have not named any suspects.

Mr. Roy, an American citizen, was a prolific writer on secularism and condemned religious extremism, particularly through his blog, Mukto-Mona, which is Bengali for Free Mind. He also wrote on the website of the Center for Inquiry, an organization based in the United States dedicated to humanist thinking and critiques of religion.

In a recent article, Mr. Roy described the release of his 2014 book, “Bishawer Virus,” Bengali for “The Virus of Faith.”

“The death threats started flowing to my email inbox on a regular basis” after the book came out, he wrote. One extremist, he wrote, “issued death threats to me through his numerous Facebook statuses.” In one of those threats he said the extremist wrote: “Avijit Roy lives in America and so, it is not possible to kill him right now. But he will be murdered when he comes back.” [Continue reading…]

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