Freedom of speech and thought is under threat in Bangladesh as bloggers and Facebook members are arrested for “hurting religious sentiments”
- Prime Minister
Rt. Hon David Cameron MP
- Foreign Secretary
Rt Hon. William Hague MP
Dear Prime Minister,
We are deeply concerned regarding the current situation in Bangladesh, where the government is cracking down on freedom of religion and freedom of expression.
Earlier this month, police arrested four atheist bloggers in Dhaka on charge of “hurting religious sentiments”. On Apr 10th two more youths were detained for their alleged derogatory remarks made on Facebook against Islam. A newspaper editor was also arrested for printing quotations from the targeted bloggers.
Bangladesh acceded in September 2000 to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Articles 18 and 19 of which guarantee every individual the rights to freedom of belief, religion, and expression.
We believe that no person should face punishment simply for holding or expressing their views, and that no topic, including religion, should be off-limits,
We therefore urge Her Majesty’s Government to put pressure on the Bangladeshi government to honour its obligations to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by releasing these prisoners immediately, ending proceedings against those arrested for exercising their right to criticize religion and by repealing any legislation incompatible with Articles 18 & 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
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