A third Bangladeshi atheist blogger, Ananta Bijoy Das, has been murdered by machete-wielding fanatics. The Swedish embassy had denied him a visa to travel to Sweden at the invitation of Swedish PEN. The International Humanist and Ethical Union, to whom he had reached out, released a statement today, reading in part:
We call on all countries to recognise the legitimacy and sometimes the urgency and moral necessity of asylum claims made by humanists, atheists and secularists who are being persecuted for daring to express those views.
We’ve been in contact with several Bangladeshi humanists, in particular since Avijit Roy was killed in February. These writers are not hateful, not intolerant; they write about science and politics, they are proponents of secularism, they voice skeptical and rationalist arguments, they call for justice and for humanism. They are desperately and increasingly concerned that they, too, have been named on the Islamist death lists.