09/18/2015, 00.00
BANGLADESH
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"I am a blogger. I am threatened by Islamic extremists. So I have to flee Bangladesh."

by Sumon Corraya
Adam Anupam, an atheist blogger born into a Catholic family, goes public with his fears. A writer for several websites and social media, he says that Europe and the developed world are safer for intellectuals who denounce religious fanaticism. The arrest of extremists is "just smoke and mirrors" because the government does not want to lose Muslim votes.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – The government of Bangladesh "is not doing anything to protect bloggers threatened with death by Islamic extremists. I cannot wait to leave the country because I do not feel safe,” said Adam Anupam, an atheist blogger, who shares with AsiaNews his concerns about increasing violence against intellectuals who denounce religious fanaticism by Muslims.

Anupam is atheist but from a Catholic family. Educated at Catholic schools, he now writes for several websites and social media.

"Bloggers are fleeing to Europe and other developed countries because they are safer there than in their homeland."

"I denounce all kinds of religious extremism that is harmful to human brings in general,” he said, “but I fear that I could be attacked in Bangladesh at any time by unscrupulous extremists."

The situation is becoming riskier for those who do not share the ideology of Islam. For some time, Muslim extremists have been targeting free thinkers and democracy activists, justifying their killing by calling their victims "atheists".

Ahmed Rajib Haider was the first blogger to be killed for his “anti-Islam" ideas in 2013. So far this year, four other bloggers have lost their lives.

in February Avijt Roy was murdered near the University Dhaka; in late March, also in the capital, Muslim fundamentalists hacked to death Oyasiqur Rahman; two months later, it was the turn of Ananta Bijoy Das, who was murdered in Sylhet; and finally, Niloy Chakrabarti was killed, execution style, in August in broad daylight, under the eyes of his mother and sister.

In such an atmosphere of fear, 12 bloggers have been pushed to leave the country, concerned about further attacks after the publication of a series of threatening letters sent to the press, in which they are named as the next targets.

Anupam is also afraid. "When I sit down to write, I realise that there are many things I cannot say, for fear of reprisals."

The most serious thing, he added, "is that the government remains silent in the face of the persecution of intellectuals because they do not want to lose Muslim votes. Although some murderers have been arrested, this is just smoke and mirrors. The government will not take effective action against fanatics."

"Bangladesh is still a hundred years behind the modern era because this country’s majority is against bloggers,” he said in concluding. “There is no freedom of expression here. Although there has been some progress and people make more money, the way of thinking still hasn’t changed.”

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