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This depresses me, it really does. How many is this now? The Guardian reports:

A Bangladeshi law student who criticised Islamism on his Facebook page has been murdered, police said on Thursday, the latest in a series of killings of secular activists and bloggers in the country.

Nazimuddin Samad, 28, had been on a hit list of 84 atheist bloggers that a group of radical Islamists drew up and sent to Bangladesh’s interior ministry.

“At least four assailants hacked Nazimuddin Samad’s head with a machete on Wednesday night. As he fell down, one of them shot him with a pistol from close range. He died on the spot,” deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan police Syed Nurul Islam told AFP.

“It is a case of targeted killing. But no group has claimed responsibility,” Islam said, adding police were investigating whether Samad was murdered for his writing.

The Dhaka Tribune said the assailants shouted Allahu Akbar (God is greatest) as they attacked Samad on a busy road near Dhaka’s Jagannath University, where he was a law student.

Samad was known to have been critical of state religion in the Bangladeshi constitution. In the first two lines detailing his religious views on Facebook, he stated: “Evolution is a scientific truth. Religion and race are invention of the savage and uncivil people.”…

“Nazim was both hacked and shot. We have recovered bullet shells from the spot. He has been hacked on the right side of his head,” Saha told the Guardian.

In 2015, suspected Islamist militants hacked to death at least four atheist bloggers and a secular publisher in a long-running series of targeted killings in the Muslim majority country.

Police arrested members of a banned group called the Ansarullah Bangla Team over those murders, although none has yet been prosecuted….

“He was a secular online activist and a loud voice against any social injustice. He was against Islamic fundamentalism,” said Sarker [who leads Bangladesh’s largest online secular activist group and is the head of the Bangladesh Bloggers Association].

Amnesty International said the killing was a reminder that authorities in Bangladesh are failing to protect people exercising their right to freedom of expression.

“There can be no justification for the brutal killing of Nazimuddin Samad, who has apparently paid with his life for nothing but being brave enough to speak his mind,” said Champa Patel, Amnesty’s South Asia director. “This is not just a senseless murder, it is a blatant attack on the right to freedom of expression. The Bangladeshi authorities must categorically condemn these killings and take serious steps to end this horrific cycle of violence. Those responsible for the killings of secular activists must be held to account.”


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Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...