The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Bangladeshi authorities to look into the recent murder of a television host who was noted for presenting religious programs. The victim, Nurul Islam Faruqi, who was also an imam, used his programs to speak about the ills of Islamic radicals and condemn militancy groups like the Islamic State. The CPJ urged the Bangladeshi government to identify the motive of Faruqi’s killer and bring the perpetrator to justice.
“We call on Bangladeshi authorities to conduct a thorough and timely investigation into the murder of Nurul Islam Faruqi and bring those responsible to justice. A democracy must show that it will not tolerate violence as a means of suppressing critical voices,” said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney.
On August 27, Faruqi was tied up along with his family at his Dhaka home before his assailants slit his throat. According to local media, Faruqi was visited on the night of his murder by at least five men, and while it is unclear how many of them were involved in his murder, neighbours said they were shocked to see the crime scene when they went over to free his family members after the attackers fled.
Faruqi not only hosted his own programs Kafela and Shantir Pothe, but also owned his own news and education channel. He was also the leader of the religious group Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat, which was known for its critical views of the opposition Islamist party Jamaat e Islami.
Masudur Rahman, Dhaka’s police deputy commissioner, said his department’s officials are investigating the murder as well as the possible motives behind the crime. Reportedly, Faruqi had received death threats several times from both Jamaat e Islami and Hefajat e Islam for opposing them in one way or another. Last year, blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider was killed because of his critical take on Islamic fundamentalism and condemnation of Jamaat e Islami. The CPJ recently added Bangladesh to its Risk List, which takes note of those countries where the freedom of the press is on a steady decline.
Source: The Daily Star