Today marks four years since the vicious crime. On the 26th of February, 2015, when returning from a book launching program in front of Shuddhashar’s stall at the Ekushey book fair, Avijit Roy, the science-, logic-, and atheism-based writer, was killed and his wife and writer Rafida Ahmed Bonya was brutally wounded by secret members of the Ansarullah Bangla Team.
It is no longer necessary to describe the consequences to freedom of publishing, expression, and criticism that have resulted in the last four years since that attack.
These consequences started with the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JMB), Ansarullah Bangla Team, and other hidden attackers taking responsibility for the killings. Additionally, Hefazat-Jamaat was always present in the background to provide inspiration publicly. Over time, we saw that the government took responsibility of the brutality through their silence. Although at this current moment the murders of writers-bloggers are not occurring at the same fast pace, the kidnapping, arrests, and extrajudicial killing continues relentlessly and without any justice. The entire process of fair and speedy investigation, prosecution, and justice has collapsed. When the situation is like this, the relatives and friends of murdered writers-bloggers do not really expect justice.
According to the constitution of Bangladesh, however, as citizens, we all have the right to demand and receive justice. But today we no longer see any door open toward justice.
After four years, the proposed charge sheet concerning the murder of Abhijit Roy was sent to the home ministry. However, Avijit Roy’s wife Rafida Ahmed Bonya did not agree with the description of the proposed charge sheet. As noted, Bonya was also seriously injured alongside Avijit on February 26, 2015. But over the last four years, the Bangladeshi police did not communicate with Bonya even once to record the incident and take her descriptions. Even the FBI investigation report was not considered as a reference during the investigation by Bangladeshi police. If one analyses the past four year’s press notes involving Avijit’s case, one observes many inconsistencies surrounding police arrests of potential suspects, crossfires, and escaped suspects. All these incidents reveal that the investigation into Avijit Roy’s murder is being interrupted and intentionally made controversial. Therefore, it appears that the delay in the judicial process is depriving concerned citizens of their constitutional rights.
The centuries-old saying, “Justice delayed is justice denied,” is echoing in today’s Bangladesh.