Press Statement

Secular publisher hacked to death in Bangladesh by religious group

01 Nov, 2015

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) deplores the brutal murder of a secular publisher in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka on Saturday October 31. The IFJ demands immediate action by the Bangladeshi government to end the culture of impunity that is rife across the country and ensure freedom of expression in Bangladesh.

On Saturday, Faisal Arefin Dipan, who ran the publishing company Jadriti Prokashony, was brutally hacked to death in his office in Shahbagh in Dhaka. Dipan was declared dead upon arrival to Dhaka Medical College Hospital, after he was discovered by his father who went to his son’s office after hearing of another attack in the city. Dipan, 43, was the publisher of secular blogger, Avijit Roy who was hacked to death in Dhaka in February.  According to police, the attackers locked Dipan’s office, locking several other people inside before carrying out the attack. The attackers identified themselves as customers to get access to the office building.

The murder came just hours after another another publisher and two secular bloggers were attacked in Dhaka. Ahmed Rahim Tutul, publisher with Shudhdoswar, who also published Roy, and Ranadeep Basu and Tariq Rahim were shot at and stabbed in an attack at the Shudhdoswar officers in Dhaka. Police had to break down the door to access the injured following the attack. Tutul, Basu and Rahim were each hospitalized and Tutul remains in a critical condition.

No one has claim responsibility for the murder and attacks, however local police have said they were organised attacks. Dipan is now the sixth media worker killed in Bangladesh this year, following the killings of four secular bloggers and journalist Abu Sayem. Local banned-terrorist group, Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) have claimed responsibility for the killings of local bloggers, as well as issued threats to secular bloggers in Bangladesh and internationally. Most recently, ABT issued a warning to local media to ‘release women from their jobs’ as it is against Islamic law for women to work in the media. 

The IFJ said: “We deplore the brutal murder of Faisal Arefin Dipan and offer condolences to Dipan’s family and friends. The IFJ also condemns the attacks on Admed Rahim Tutul, Ranadeep Basu and Tariq Rahim. Each of these attacks highlights the unstable and insecure environment in which Bangladeshi’s media is working. Immediate and decisive action needs to be taken by the Bangladeshi government to ensure these attacks end.”

Tomorrow, on November 2, the IFJ will launch its annual #EndImpunity campaign to demand action for impunity for crimes against journalists. Join the campaign on social media using the #EndImpunity #IFJ and find more information here 

Written By

IFJ Asia-Pacific IFJ Asia-Pacific

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