For Immediate Release
Merrill Miller, 202-238-9088 ext. 105, email@example.com
(Washington, D.C., May 12, 2015)—In the wake of the murder of Ananta Bijoy Das, the third Bangladeshi blogger to be brutally killed for his secular views, the American Humanist Association expresses sorrow and outrage that the lives of those who would criticize extremist religion are still in danger.
Das was murdered on Tuesday morning in Sylhet, Bangladesh, by masked attackers. Like his fellow slain bloggers, Avijit Roy and Oyasiqur Rhaman, Das was an advocate of secular values, such as science and reason, and he was a writer and administrator for Avijit Roy’s blog, Mukto-Mona (Free-Mind). According to friends, he had received threats and was on a hit list with Avijit Roy, whose death has been linked to al-Qaida of the Indian Subcontinent. This is the third such killing of outspoken proponents of secularism in Bangladesh since February 2015.
“These gruesome murders of nonbelievers must end now,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “We call upon the global community to uphold the freedom of conscience and protect those who are targeted for death by fundamentalists just because of what they think.”
The American Humanist Association is a staunch defender of the rights of humanists in the United States and around the world, supports freedom of expression and opposes blasphemy laws. The American Humanist Association is also currently working with U.S. legislators and their staff to raise awareness about the prejudice and oppression faced by nonbelievers around the world.
Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other non-religious Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.