Three unidentified men attacked Asif Mohiuddin, a Bangladeshi blogger who identifies as an atheist and frequently criticised religion on his blog.
(CPJ/IFEX) – New York, January 15, 2013 – Authorities in Bangladesh must immediately investigate Monday’s stabbing of a blogger in Dhaka, determine the motive, and bring the perpetrators to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
Three unidentified men attacked Asif Mohiuddin, 29, as he left his office in Uttara district, and stabbed him several times in the neck and back, according to news reports. The journalist sought treatment at a local hospital, where he remains in critical condition. Mohiuddin’s Bengali-language blog, called “Almighty only in name, but impotent in reality,” is one of the most visited Web pages in Bangladesh, according to a report by Agence France-Presse. News reports said that Mohiuddin, who identifies as an atheist, frequently criticized religion on his blog. Bangladesh is 90 percent Muslim, and Islam is its state religion. The blogger’s writings also included news stories and commentaries on free speech and human rights issues.
Mohiuddin has also faced official harassment in the past. In October 2011, police arrested and abused him in connection with his blog posts that they said caused student protests against fee hikes at a nearby university, news reports said. Mohiuddin was detained for 18 hours and told to stop writing, the reports said. Mohiuddin said he had been blindfolded, starved, and kept awake, news reports said. He also said police had asked him to sign a statement saying he would not post to blogs or social media from then on.
Police told local news website bdnews24 that they were not aware of Monday’s attack on Mohiuddin, but that they would investigate.
“We condemn this attack on Asif Mohiuddin and call on authorities to fully investigate and ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice,” said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney.
CPJ has documented a serious assault and a journalist murder in Bangladesh in 2012. In May, Fazlur Rahman, a correspondent of the Bengali-language daily Samakal, was hospitalized after being attacked by men with machetes. In June, unidentified assailants stabbed and killed Jamal Uddin, a reporter for the Bengali-language daily Gramer Kagoj, at a tea stall in Jessore district.