[An eight-story building collapsed Wednesday in Savar, an outskirts of the Bangladeshi capital, killing at least 123 people and injuring more than 1,000. Due to the National Day of Mourning in Bangladesh on April 25, protests have been postponed to May 2.]
Four of our blogger friends have been arrested unfairly, tortured in police remand and then were sent to prison without any concrete charge. Future of their lives as well as the lives of their family members are being made uncertain by the baseless and childish charges against them. Virtual actions such as Facebook likes, sharing of posts and status updates aimed against the communal acts of violence in different temples and pagodas by these bloggers have been considered as crimes and the state is in the process to file cases against them.
A conspiracy to procrastinate or to hinder the process of the trials of the war criminals by inciting fundamentalism is in the offing at this very moment when the whole country is united for the demand of the capital punishment of the war criminals and the banning of the fundamentalist political party Jamat E Islami who opposed our liberation war. As a part of this conspiracy, general people have been incited in the name of religion against the bloggers, who have the leaders in the struggle for free thinking and freedom of opinion in Bangladesh and also the current mass uprising demanding punishment for the war criminals and collaborators. Today freedom of expression and free thinking in Bangladesh face a grave threat.
Though blasphemy law is not acknowledged by our constitution, moderate non-practicing Muslims have been turned against the bloggers by a propaganda campaign accusing them of actions which are considered blasphemous by the general populace. We think that this blogger-arrest drama is a part of the conspiracy by those power monger political parties who want to achieve their hidden agenda of stopping the war crime trials.
The freethinking people of the world along with us are concerned and worried about the arrest of those bloggers. A number of humanist organizations of the world have called for a world wide protest on next 2nd May, Thursday. As a part of this protest, we have also decided to arrange a demonstration in Bangladesh on the same day. Your presence and your constructive opinion in the procession/demonstration which will start on 4:30 in the afternoon is earnestly sought.
Date: May 2, Thursday 2013
Time: 4:30 in the afternoon
Place: Press club
Translated by Nipoon Fahmid (Proof Reading – Eshon Wahid) from the Facebook activism page – গ্রেফতারকৃত ব্লগারদের মুক্তির দাবীতে বিক্ষোভ মিছিল