Statement from Mukto-Mona on recent false media claims about Avijit Roy's killers

Published on Thursday, July 9, 2015

Recently we've come across several news items related to the investigation of the murder of Avijit Roy, writer and founder of Mukto-Mona. We, the Mukto-Mona group, are protesting these attempts to create sensation among readers through glib and misleading clickbait headlines such as "Bonya Ahmed Identified Avijit Roy's Murderers" or "Bonya's Friend Provided Information to Avijit's Murderers." Many people have contacted us regarding this, and so, on behalf of Bonya Ahmed, we think it necessary to present accurate information on this matter.

Coincidentally, this kind of reporting began just before Bonya Ahmed left for London on July 2 to present the 2015 Voltaire Lecture. Further and more detailed information on Bonya Ahmed's Voltaire Lecture can be found at the British Humanist Association's website here.

Since Bonya Ahmed returned to the USA for further medical treatment (after spending four days in the Square Hospital ICU after the attack), to date, neither the Bangladesh Police nor the FBI have sent her any photos for identification. She has not identified any person as the murderer(s) of Avijit Roy.

The US intelligence agency the FBI has remained in regular contact with Bonya Ahmed. We want to categorically state that the Government of Bangladesh, the state administration, the Bangladeshi embassies in the US--none of these organizations have contacted Bonya Ahmed directly or through the FBI. Following Bonya Ahmed's interview with Reuters (bdnews link here), although Sajeeb Wazed Joy quickly got in touch with Reuters, no one on behalf of the government of Bangladesh felt it necessary to speak directly to Bonya Ahmed.

A spurious news report, quoting "the chief police official of the Detective Branch," claims that Bonya Ahmed's friend provided information to Avijit Roy's murderers. Yet neither the FBI nor Bangladeshi police ever enquired about any friend of Bonya Ahmed's. Without proper verification, without any evidence, without any arrests, making allegations against some invisible 'friend' of Bonya Ahmed's through news media shows nothing more than a severe lack of professionalism.

We want the murderers of Avijit Roy to be arrested and punished to the fullest extent of the law. We want the murderers of Ananta Bijoy Das to be arrested and punished. We want the highest possible punishment through due process for the murderers of Rajib Haider, Washiqur Rahman Babu, and all other freethinkers. We do not want press conferences or news reports full of falsehoods.

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