Court sentences 2 to death, 6 to prison for killing blogger in Bangladesh

NEW DELHI - A court in Bangladesh on Thursday sentenced two people to death and six others to prison for killing an atheist blogger in 2013, the first verdicts since suspected Islamist militants began targeting secular activists.

See Full Article

Seven university students and the leader of a banned Islamist group were charged with murder in the death of Ahmed Rajib Haider, a blogger who campaigned for banning the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami party, which opposed Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan in 1971.

According to prosecutors, the students said that Mufti Jasimuddin Rahmani, leader of the banned Islamist group Ansarullah Bangla Team, incited them to kill Haider in sermons in which he said all atheist bloggers should be killed to protect Islam.

The two North South University students who received the death sentences included Faisal bin Nayeem, who the court said hacked Haider with meat cleavers in front of his house in Dhaka. Another was tried in absentia. The others received prison sentences ranging from three years to life. Rahmani was sentenced to five years, according to Judge Sayeed Ahmed, who read the verdicts in a packed Dhaka courtroom in the presence of seven defendants.

Haider's father rejected the verdicts, saying all the defendants deserved the death sentence. He said he would consult with his lawyer to decide whether to appeal.

Four secular bloggers and online activists, including a Bangladeshi-American, have been killed this year by suspected militants who denounced their writings criticizing radical Islam. Many bloggers have gone into hiding, and some have left the country, as concerns have grown about an increasingly bloody divide between secular activists and conservative Islamist groups.

Police said that the student who was sentenced to death in absentia and was accused of planning the attack is a member of Jamaat-e-Islami's student wing, Islami Chhatra Shibir, but the party denied involvement in the killing.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Trump wigs in big demand for Austrian carnival-goers

    World News CTV News
    VIENNA -- Just about everyone wants to be Donald Trump this Carnival season in Austria -- so much so that some costume rental shops have run out of wigs miming the U.S. president's signature hairstyle. Source
  • French far-right chief says Assad solution to Syria crisis

    World News CTV News
    BEIRUT -- French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen on Monday called Syrian President Bashar Assad "the most reassuring solution for France," a major divergence with her nation's official policy. Le Pen, head of the anti-immigration National Front, spoke after meetings with Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Source
  • U.K.'s May warns Lords not to delay people's will on Brexit

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- British Prime Minister Theresa May says Parliament must not hold up "what the British people want" by trying to delay the start of European Union exit talks. May spoke as the House of Lords begins debate on a bill authorizing the government to trigger the EU divorce process. Source
  • Trump marks his first month with tweets, turmoil

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. Source
  • Twitter mocks Trump for 'what's happening in Sweden' remarks

    World News CTV News
    With the Atlanta attack and the Bowling Green massacre still fresh in their minds, social media users are once again "mourning" a fake terror attack referenced by the Trump White House, this time in Sweden. Source
  • Spot the hydrant: Snow, ice and safety concerns in Halifax

    Canada News CTV News
    As Maritimers continue to plow roads and clear sidewalks buried by the impressive dumping of snow in back-to-back winter storms last week, officials in Halifax are warning of a potential safety concern buried deep within the city’s towering snowbanks. Source
  • A month of Trump, by the numbers

    World News CTV News
    President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with House Republicans in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. (Evan Vucci/AP) Source
  • Uber to investigate sexual harassment claim by engineer

    World News CBC News
    ?Uber's chief executive ordered an urgent investigation Monday into a sexual harassment claim made by a female engineer who alleged her prospects at the company evaporated after she complained about advances from her boss. Travis Kalanick responded on Twitter to an open statement by Susan Fowler Rigetti about her year at the ride-hailing app. Source
  • Iran launches 'advanced' rockets during military exercises

    World News CTV News
    TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard has launched several sophisticated rockets during military exercises, Iranian media reported on Monday. The semi-official Tasnim news agency , considered to be close to the Revolutionary Guard, said the launch of the "smart and advanced" rockets came during an annual three-day manoeuvr which began on Monday in Iran's central desert. Source
  • Philippines: Vietnamese ship attacked; 1 dead, 6 abducted

    World News CTV News
    MANILA, Philippines -- Gunmen attacked a Vietnamese cargo ship off the Philippines' southern tip, killing a Vietnamese crewman and abducting six others including the vessel's captain, the Philippine coast guard and the ship's owner said Monday. Source