World Association of News Publishers

Protest Campaign - Bangladesh, 27 April 2016

Protest Campaign - Bangladesh, 27 April 2016

Article ID:


The Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
Dhaka, Bangladesh

Via Email:
Md. Abul Kalam Azad, Principal Secretary

27 April 2016


Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries, to express our grave concern at the murder of editor and activist Xulhaz Mannan.

According to reports, on 25 April Mr Mannan, editor of Roopbaan, a magazine and activist group for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, was hacked to death in a Dhaka flat. Another openly gay man named as Tanay Mojumdar was also murdered at the scene. Five or six young men reportedly posed as couriers to gain access to the second-floor apartment, before murdering the two men with machetes.

At least six writers or bloggers have been hacked to death in the past year for expressing views that Islamic extremists found offensive.

We are seriously concerned at the appalling situation of freedom of expression in Bangladesh and the failure of the authorities to provide an environment in which diverse views and beliefs can be expressed. We respectfully remind you that the right to freedom of expression is guaranteed by numerous international conventions to which Bangladesh is bound, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 19 of the Declaration states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media, regardless of frontiers.”

We respectfully call on you to take all possible steps to ensure that those responsible for murdering Mr Mannan and Mr Mojumdar are quickly brought to justice. We urge your government to take urgent action to protect anyone who chooses to express secular or minority views, and to ensure that your country fully observes its international obligations to freedom of expression.

We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.



Tomas Brunegård
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers


Marcelo Rech
World Editors Forum


WAN-IFRA is the global organisation for the world’s newspapers and news publishers, with formal representative status at the United Nations, UNESCO and the Council of Europe. The organisation groups 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries.


Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop


2016-04-27 12:23

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In countless countries, journalists, editors and publishers are physically attacked, imprisoned, censored, suspended or harassed for their work. WAN-IFRA is committed to defending freedom of expression by promoting a free and independent press around the world. Read more ...