The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomes the convictions and sentencing on 31 December 2015 of eight persons involved in the murder of blogger Rajib Haider in Bangladesh.
Haidar, 35, a blogger and activist calling for the execution of Islamist leaders for crimes committed in the 1971 independence war of Bangladesh, was hacked to death on February 15, 2013 near his house at Mirpur. He is the first of six secular bloggers who have been killed in Bangladesh so far.
The Dhaka Special Trial tribunal handed 2 death penalty and several jail terms to killing perpetrators.
The tribunal sentenced to death Md Faisal Bin Nayem alias Dweep and absconding Redwanul Azad Rana. Rana was considered as the mastermind of the murder while Nayeem attacked Haider with a meat cleaver. Maksudul Hasan alias Anik was given a life term sentence, Md Ehsan Reza alias Rumman, Nayem Sikdar alias Iraj and Nafis Imtiaz were given 10-year jail each, five-year imprisonment were granted to chief of militant group Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) Mufti Jashimuddin Rahmani and Sadman Yasir Mahmud was given three years in prison.
The IFJ president Jim Boumelha said: “We welcome the verdict of the fast-track court as it is the first conviction in the murder of blogger Rajib Haider and justice was long overdue. The court pointed at some loopholes in the investigation process and we urge the investigating authorities of Bangladesh to exercise due diligence in scrutinising other murders.”
“Five other murders of bloggers remained to be examined and the Bangladesh government now has a critical responsibility to ensure those murders are duly investigated. Their perpetrators must be brought to the fast track courts to guaranty swift justice to the victims and ensure that the threat to secular bloggers is no longer withstanding”.
For further information, contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 139 countries