A Call for Justice
Centre For Inquiry Canada supports CFI (US) and Ms. Radifa Bonya Ahmed in her call for justice. The following information is re-posted from the CFI (US) press release.
Rafida Bonya Ahmed was viciously attacked in Dhaka, Bangladesh by Islamic extremists wielding machetes as she and her husband, renowned freethought writer Avijit Roy, were leaving a book fair at Dhaka University. Dr. Roy did not survive the attack, but thankfully Ms. Ahmed is now recovering.
Ms. Ahmed’s family has asked the Center for Inquiry to share her statement:
My husband, Avijit Roy, wrote about science and rationalism and critiqued religious fundamentalism. Because of this, he was murdered. On February 26, 2015, he and I were attacked in a crowded area on the Dhaka University campus. Avijit was hacked to death by a machete; I survived.
As his wife, fellow writer, and a freethinker, I strongly condemn this gruesome act of terror
The Dhaka University campus has historically been a space for progressive movements. It is also where Avijit grew up. Despite the death threat, we could not fathom that such a heinous crime could take place in such an area—a crime not only against a person, but against freedom of speech and humanity. While Avijit and I were being ruthlessly attacked, the local police stood close by and did not act. Now, we demand that the Bangladeshi government do everything in its power to bring the murderers to justice.
I do not believe that simply catching the killers will be enough. I urge the government to address terrorism and stop a legal culture of impunity, where writers can be killed without the killers being brought to trial. I urge the world to recognize what has happened and join us in this demand for justice.
– Rafida Bonya Ahmed
“We are deeply grateful that Bonya is recovering from her ordeal, and we’re honored to help her share her story and her call for action,” said Michael De Dora, CFI’s representative to the United Nations and a friend of Dr. Roy’s. “We are still reeling from the loss of our friend Avijit, a fellow human rights advocate. But it is clear from the tributes being paid to him around the world that the ideals he stood for — reason, compassion, and freedom of expression for all — will continue to inspire for generations to come.”
Dr. Avijit Roy was the founder of the website Mukto-mona, an online network of freethinkers of mainly Bengali and South Asian descent, as well as the author of several books, and a contributor to CFI’s magazine Free Inquiry and its Free Thinking blog. When seven Bangladeshi atheist bloggers were arrested for blasphemy in 2013, Dr. Roy worked closely with CFI to focus the international community’s attention on the injustice, and help organize and promote protests around the world.
Michael De Dora is currently in Geneva for the 28th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. CFI’s original statement on Dr. Roy’s murder can be found here: http://bit.ly/CFI_AvijitRoy
Further Information and Media
- February 26 – Avijit Roy Day Honouring Murdered Atheist Writers in Bangladesh
- Become a CFI Canada Student Affiliate
- Center for Inquiry – US Campus Affiliates
- CFI Canada Student Campus Groups
- CFI Canada Condemns All Faith-Based Violence
- CFI Canada Resources for Students
- CFI’s Equinox Celebrations in Toronto
- Secular, Humanist and Freethought Links
- Canada’s Blasphemous Libel Law
- Press Release – Deny Law School Accreditation to Anti-Gay University
- Iceland Removes Blasphemy Law!
- LGTBQ people not welcome at BC law school
- Charlie Hebdo and the Question of Blasphemy
- CFI US Presents: Women in Secularism III
- Spoon Bending and Higher Learning
- From the Cradle to the Grave
- Another Pediatric Death by World View
- Who is CFIC, and what do we do?
- New CFIC Logo Designs
- CFI condemns attacks on religious groups in Egypt
- CFIC Condemns Superstition-based Violence
- Supreme Court Decision
- 2015/2016 Flu Shot is a Good Idea
- Raif Badawi
- James Randi in Toronto!
- Atheist Bloggers Risking Their Lives
- Catholic School Board Breaking the Law, Complaint Alleges
- How To Help
- CFI Condemns Murders at Charlie Hebdo
- Are Organized Religions a Possible Public Health Hazard “Vector”? Apparently we have our job to do…
- Pro-Vaccination Art
- Spring is late – deadline extended for the Colouring Contest
- Welcome to the Centre for Inquiry
- CFI Canada at the Office of Religious Freedom’s EAC
- Canada’s Standing Committee on Health (HESA): Report 13
- History and Mandate
- Policy Statements
- Ask the Religion Experts: Should we boycott the Sochi Olympics?
- CFIDiscourse #1: A Christian in Favour of Atheist Billboards
- HUMAN RIGHTS
- CFIC’s Ethical Perspectives
- Secular Humanists Grieve with the LGBTQ Community of Orlando, FLA
- George Kourounis: Take The Centre With You
- Crisis in Nepal: What can we do?
- Secular Human Rights Campaigns
- Governance Documents
- Timothy Caulfield coming to Ottawa
- Secular Humanists and Atheists Grieve With the Nation
- Will You Make a Commitment to Reason and Science Today?
- CFIC Library
- Not Over Yet! Humanists Should Speak out on the Right to Die with Dignity
- Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom
- An Evening with Penn Jillette- Every Day Is an Atheist Holiday!
- Press Centre
- CFI Canada Announces New Ad Campaign!
- CFI Manitoba