Murder of Faisal Abedin Deepan

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Faisal Abedin Deepan (Bengali: ফয়সাল আরেফিন দীপন)(c. 1972 - 31 October 2015) was a Bangladeshi book publisher of the Jagriti Prokashoni publishing house.[1] He was hacked to death inside his house in Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital.[2][3]

Deepan was a secular book publisher who printed writing that discussed topics like atheism and sexual orientation. He had received death threats from religious extremists.[4] He published books by Bangladeshi-American writer and blogger Avijit Roy who was the four secular bloggers killed in Bangladesh the same year.[5] Dipan's father said his company had published Avajit Roy's 2014 book, Biswasher Virus (The Virus of Faith).[6][7]

An hour earlier, another publisher and two writers were attacked, but they survived. A local al-Qaeda group said they were responsible for the attack.[8] Ahmed Rahim Tutal, a secular publisher, was attacked in his office at the Shudhdhoswar publishing house.[9]

International reaction[change | change source]

British politicians condemned the murder. British bishop Declan Lang, the chair of the international affairs department of the British bishops' conference, said that the Roman Catholic community in England and Wales should "speak out when people are imprisoned, tortured or killed on account of their atheism."[10] Eric Adriaans, the National Executive Director of Centre For Inquiry Canada said that Canada should offer asylum to people targeted by religious extremists.[11]

The International Publishers Association honored Deepan at their annual conference and called on the United Nations to do more about freedom of expression in Bangladesh. Tutul sent a message to the conference, saying: "If Jagriti Faisal Abedin Deepan were alive today, he would play an important role in this conference. But because he published free-thinking books, Islamist fundamentalists killed him. I urge all my publisher friends to continue to publish the works of free thinkers. I believe this is the best reply to the fundamentalists. By increasing the number of people that free-thinking books can reach, we'll be able to weaken fundamentalism in Bangladesh." Tutal also called for freedom for Bangladeshi writer and publisher, Shamsuzzoha Manik. Manik was arrested under a Bangladeshi law that prohibits criticism of religion. [12] Manik is 73 years old and published a titled "Islam Bitorko" ("Debate on Islam").[13]

References[change | change source]