In the News: Call for Canadian government to support secularists in Bangladesh

A wide variety of organizations and individuals has issued a joint statement calling on the Canadian government to provide humanitarian assistance to embattled secularists in Bangladesh. The effort was initiated by CFI Canada and joined by various atheist, secularist, humanist and human rights supporters, including this organization Libres penseurs athées—Atheist Freethinkers. The statement is in the form of a letter addressed to The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. Here is that letter:

Joint Statement Calling on the Canadian government to provide humanitarian assistance to secularists in Bangladesh, 2015-11-13

We, the undersigned organizations and concerned supporters, urgently call on the Canadian government to act on behalf of one of its citizens, Monika Mistry, to help her Bangladeshi husband recover in safety from a brutal attack he suffered in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

On October 31, 2015, Tareq Rahim, an intellectual, poet and blogger, was attacked with two of his colleagues by a group of suspected Islamists wielding machetes and cleavers. Just hours later a secular publisher, Faisal Arefin Dipan, was hacked to death in his Dhaka office; he is the fifth secularist to be killed in Bangladesh this year. Ansar al-Islam (Ansarullah Bangla Team), a local affiliate of al-Qaeda, has taken credit for the attacks.

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