I am dismayed and angry to hear reports that fellow humanist and atheist bloggers have been incarcerated for publicly airing their views and concerns on matters regarding Islam and the prophet in Bangladesh. The sensitivities of believers are being placed ahead of the freedom of people.
Such concern over free people expressing their conscience and views the world over are part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
“Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,”
When thousands gather calling for the death penalty of bloggers, and the murderer of an atheist blogger remains at large, fear tramples on the freedom and aspirations of those that would share their views and discuss such matters of conscience openly. The mentality of the mob strangles our right to hear dissenting views we may benefit from when peacefully heard.
I am pleased that the Bangladesh Government has resisted thus far attempts to introduce the death penalty. I hope that the charges now brought against bloggers maybe looked at leniently, and that they may soon return to their loved ones.
May the Bangladesh Government use all it’s resources to prevent further brutality and victimisation of atheists. I hope that free speech for the devout and the skeptic may be tolerated and freely expressed without fear. I urge peace and reconciliation in the country.
Mr Ambassador please pass on my views to your government, mentioned out of solidarity with fellow bloggers and freethinkers. Please use the powers of your office and influence to support universal human rights which all the people of Bangladesh deserve. I urge my own Government to assist you in that endeavour and to make all diplomatic efforts and representations in support of human rights.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog