UN, U.S. condemn Bangladesh murder

The U.S. says it’s considering granting refuge to a select number of bloggers.

April 09, 2016 12:27 am | Updated September 08, 2016 07:42 pm IST - DHAKA:

The murder of secular activist Nazimuddin Samad on Wednesday in Dhaka has sparked widespread concern and condemnation both from local and international quarters.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has urged the Bangladesh government to take urgent, concerted measures to ensure the protection of all those being threatened by extremists “operating in the country”.

UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Robert D. Watkins has also urged the authorities to “adequately protect” the nation’s online activists. “This killing is clearly part of a growing trend which undermines freedom of expression and opinion in Bangladesh.”

Condemning the “barbaric murder,” the U.S. said it was considering granting refuge to a select number of bloggers who face imminent danger in Bangladesh. State Department Spokesman Mark Toner said the latest killing has heightened concern that religious extremists are getting a foothold in Bangladesh… and that authorities are failing to provide protection. The U.S. has also offered unwavering support to the Bangladeshi people in their struggle against violent extremism.”

The statement came in the backdrop of repeated appeals by a host of U.S. rights groups to offer “humanitarian parole” for Bangladeshi writers targeted by extremists for their secular views.

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