Statement

Shuddhshar demands the immediate release of Cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishor

Shuddhashar reiterates its deep concern at the prolonged incarceration of Bangladeshi Cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishor, known for his political cartoons, who has been denied bail so far. Kishor was arrested from his home under the Digital Security Act — a draconian law the government regularly exploits to muzzle dissent in Bangladesh. It is noteworthy that, …

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Stop politicising Samuel Paty’s death; uphold the principles he championed

The beheading of the Parisian school teacher Samuel Paty and subsequent stabbing to death of three churchgoers last month are stark reminders that freedom of speech is still very much at peril. From Turkey to Bangladesh, reactionary elements in the Muslim world have seized upon the opportunity to make the most out of the Muhammad …

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Mubarak Bala is incarcerated for a victimless crime. Set him free!

Shuddhashar is deeply alarmed by the arrest of Mubarak Bala, a well-known humanist, who serves as the president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria. Persecution of the non-religious is nothing new; its history can be traced to the age of antiquity when belief in a creator of the world buttressed the legitimacy of the state. …

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Clamping down on dissidents will not stem the tide of coronavirus deaths

The Covid-19 pandemic, currently sweeping across the globe and claiming thousands of lives every day, has laid bare the remarkable ineptitude of authoritarian leaders worldwide in resolving the humanitarian crisis that it has engendered. Demagogues today spend more time in flouting social distancing regulations and in clamping down on their critics than in stemming the …

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It can’t be the job of any civilized government to suppress freedom of expression.

Freedom of expression has never really existed in Bangladesh. Governments as well as religiously, politically, and economically powerful forces have always attacked any opinions and criticisms that conflict with their views and interests. In recent years, a self-destructive attempt to destroy all democratic values and culture has been made by the Bangladesh government. Looting is …

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Concern for Soheil Arabi, imprisoned for blasphemy in Iran

We express our concern and support of Soheil Arabi, an Iranian atheist, activist, and blogger who has been in prison for blasphemy charges since 2013. Arabi was arrested in December 2013 and sentenced to death for blasphemy by insulting the prophet, Khamenei, and other Iranian officials in a Facebook post. In 2015, after an appeal, his sentence …

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Harassment and Arrest of Bauls in Bangladesh Threatens Tradition

We are deeply disturbed about recent attacks against the Sufi and Baul community in Bangladesh. Not only do these attacks violate freedom of speech, they also violate freedom of religion. Bauls and Sufis in Bangladesh represent diverse communities, with many Bauls rooted in Islamic traditions of Sufism — the mystical branch of Islam that spread …

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Concerning India’s discriminatory Citizenship Act

Shuddhashar is observing with deep concern the events in India, where the Central Government of India recently passed the new Citizenship Act Bill (NRC & CAB), and India, known as the largest democratic state in the world, has adopted a policy of discriminating among people of different cultural, religious, and non-religious backgrounds. This policy will …

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Shuddhashar urges to free Shahidul, drop charges against him

Shuddhashar stands with the international community to demand the immediate release of Shahidul Alam and to drop all the cases against him. Shahidul, a Bangladeshi photojournalist with international recognition, was seized from his home by plainclothesmen on August 5. He was blindfolded and dragged into a van. This occurred only a few hours after Shahidul’s …

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