Thursday, March 05, 2015

Fwd: The Brutal Murder of Dr. Avijit Roy

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Congressman Mike Honda <>
Date: Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 10:05 PM
Subject: The Brutal Murder of Dr. Avijit Roy

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Dear Sri,

Last week, Dr. Avijit Roy and his wife Rafida Ahmed Bonna were pulled from a bicycle rickshaw and assaulted with machetes while they were leaving a book fair near Dhaka University, in Bangladesh. Dr. Roy died in transport to the hospital; Ms. Bonna is in critical condition.

I led a letter, along with five Members of Congress, to Secretary of State Kerry, encouraging the U.S. Embassy and Department of State to remain engaged, and work with Bangladesh's government. We must insist that Dr. Roy's killers are brought to justice, and to ensure that threats to other secularists, and writers in Bangladesh are taken seriously.

I am deeply troubled by this murder because of its violence and affront to freedom of speech and freedom of thought. Dr. Roy was a prominent Bangladeshi-American writer and blogger. He championed free speech, and advocated for liberal secular discourse in Bangladesh, through his books and Mukto-Mona blog platform.

Dr. Roy had reportedly been receiving death threats from Islamist fundamentalists in Bangladesh, and it is presumed that this was a religiously motivated attack. The Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris last month, the synagogue shootings in Denmark two weeks ago, and Dr. Roy's murder in Bangladesh are representative of the disturbing, and growing, number of attacks around the world by religious fanatics against freedom of speech advocates. The United States cannot allow extremists to operate with impunity.


Mike Honda 
Mike Honda
Member of Congress

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