Justice and protection needed for writers in Bangladesh

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Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Justice and better protection is needed for writers in Bangladesh, following a series of high-profile murders, believed to have been carried out by religious extremists.

That's according to the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, who on Thursday strongly condemned continuing violent attacks against bloggers and publishers.

At least five people have been murdered this year in the capital Dhaka..

Matthew Wells has more.

In condemning the series of violent attacks, Zeid said that the Bangladeshi government was obliged to take urgent and concerted measures to help protect those at risk from the extremist backlash.

The latest killing took place on Saturday, when publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan was hacked to death in his office. Many more have been assaulted and injured.

Most of the writers involved have espoused views that the attackers view as threatening to their fundamentalist religious and political beliefs.

Zaid said the government needed to act immediately.

Many writers have received threats on social media. Some of those threatened have gone into hiding or fled the country.

Zeid stressed that journalists, civil society actors and human rights defenders should be able to operate without fear of murder, or intimidation.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 45"

 

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