Blogger Asif Mohiuddin arrested over ?blasphemous? blog posts

11 bloggers on Bangladesh government’s hit list (ed)

By Benjamin Ismail: Reporters sans frontiers

Asif Mohiuddin, a?militant atheist blogger?who has been hounded by Bangladeshi Islamists and officials, was arrested today by the Detective Branch of the Dhaka police and is currently being interrogated about his recent posts. The police say he could be taken before a judge tomorrow.
?We call for Mohiuddin?s immediate and unconditional release,? Reporters Without Borders said. ?After being the victim of knife attack in January, he is in very poor health and needs constant medical attention. The Detective Branch told us he is being ?treated well? but the opposite is happening ? he continues to be held in deplorable conditions of hygiene and lack of access to medical treatment.
?The persecution of atheist bloggers is the result of a political desire to restrict freedom of expression and reinforce censorship in the name of combatting blasphemy. The home ministry?s announcement that seven other bloggers are to be arrested is meant to discourage news providers. This is unacceptable and contrary to all the fundamental freedoms we defend.?
Reached by telephone, the Detective Branch told Reporters Without Borders that Mohiuddin would remain in detention until taken before a judge, possible at noon tomorrow. For the time being, he has no lawyer.
Mohiuddin was arrested for posting ?anti-religious? comments on his blog (, which the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) blocked on 31 March.
His arrest follows the creation of a committee on 13 March that is tasked with?identifying ?blasphemous? bloggers and bringing them to justice. The committee is under the control of the prime minister?s office.
Police investigators already questioned Mohiuddin about his blog on 23 March. Today?s arrest comes a day after three other bloggers ? Subrata Adhikari Shuvo, Mashiur Rahman Biplob and Rasel Parvez ?? were arrested on similar grounds.
Mohiuddin was badly wounded in an apparent?murder attempt in Dhaka on 14 January. Another blogger,?Ahmed Rajib Haider, was found?hacked to death?in a Dhaka street a month later, on 15 February.

Author: Shahidul Alam

Time Magazine Person of the Year 2018. A photographer, writer, curator and activist, Shahidul Alam obtained a PhD in chemistry before switching to photography. His seminal work “The Struggle for Democracy” contributed to the removal of General Ershad. Former president of the Bangladesh Photographic Society, Alam set up the Drik agency, Chobi Mela festival and Pathshala, South Asian Media Institute, considered one of the finest schools of photography in the world. Shown in MOMA New York, Centre Georges Pompidou, Royal Albert Hall and Tate Modern, Alam has been guest curator of Whitechapel Gallery, Winterthur Gallery and Musee de Quai Branly. His awards include Mother Jones, Shilpakala Award and Lifetime Achievement Award at the Dali International Festival of Photography. Speaker at Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, Oxford and Cambridge universities, TEDx, POPTech and National Geographic, Alam chaired the international jury of the prestigious World Press Photo contest. Honorary Fellow of Royal Photographic Society, Alam is visiting professor of Sunderland University in UK and advisory board member of National Geographic Society. John Morris, the former picture editor of Life Magazine describes his book “My journey as a witness”, (listed in “Best Photo Books of 2011” by American Photo), as “The most important book ever written by a photographer.”

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