A program of the Center for Inquiry
Editor’s note: On March 10, 2015, Rafida Bonya Ahmed, wife of the assassinated Bangladeshi-American blogger Avijit Roy—who was herself seriously wounded in the attack that killed her husband—released the following statement through the Center for Inquiry.
My husband, Avijit Roy, wrote about science and rationalism and critiqued religious fundamentalism. Because of this, he was murdered. On February 26, 2015, he and I were attacked in a crowded area on the Dhaka University campus. Avijit was hacked to death by a machete; I survived.
As his wife, fellow writer, and a freethinker, I strongly condemn this gruesome act of terror.
The Dhaka University campus has historically been a space for progressive movements. It is also where Avijit grew up. Despite a death threat, we could not fathom that such a heinous crime could take place in such an area—a crime not only against a person but against freedom of speech and humanity. While Avijit and I were being ruthlessly attacked, the local police stood close by and did not act. Now, we demand that the Bangladeshi government do everything in its power to bring the murderers to justice.
I do not believe that simply catching the killers will be enough. I urge the government to address terrorism and stop a legal culture of impunity, where writers can be killed without the killers being brought to trial. I urge the world to recognize what has happened and join us in this demand for justice.
Rafida Bonya Ahmed is a leading freethinker in her own right. She has been closely involved with Mukto-Mona.com since its inception. Her book Biborton Er Poth Dhorey (Treading in the Path of Evolution) is considered to be the best book on evolution in contemporary Bengali science literature. A translation of her first full-length essay in Bengali since the murderous attack on her and her husband, Avijit Roy, will appear in the August/September 2015 issue of Free Inquiry.