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ICC Note:

Several Christian organizations came together in Dhaka yesterday to protest in front of the capital city’s press club. The Christian protesters called on the government to provide better security for the country’s religious minorities and to bring perpetrators of violence against minorities to justice. This protest was sparked by the recent killings of two religious minorities earlier this week by Islamic extremists claiming to be connected to ISIS. Since February, as many as 30 individuals including religious minorities, atheists, academics, secular bloggers, and gay rights activists have been murdered by extremists in Bangladesh. Will the government take more proactive steps to stop this rampage of violence?

6/8/2016 Bangladesh (The Daily Star) – Bangladesh Christian Association yesterday said religious minorities were anxious and uncertain about their safety as attacks on them continued to take place.

The association leaders also urged the government to take “proactive measures to restore normalcy” in the country.

“Six Christians were attacked and four of them were killed in the last six months. The victims were innocent and we demand justice for their murder,” Nirmol Rozario, secretary general of the association, told a human chain formed in front of the capital’s Jatiya Press Club.

“Perhaps killers or their sympathisers are lurking amid us and are a part of the society,” he mentioned, adding that even those who were not religious minorities, were also living in fear as any person with different views was being targeted.

Unidentified assailants on June 5 hacked to death Sunil Gomez in Baraigram upazila of Natore.

In Jhenidah Sadar, seventy-year-old Ananda Gopal Ganguly was barbarically murdered on Tuesday when he was going to a temple in Naldanga union, while in Chittagong city a police official’s wife, Mahmuda Akter, was murdered in broad daylight on Sunday.

“The prime minister should clarify whether the zero tolerance rule she talks about, will actually be implemented. The nation wants to know this,” said Nirmol.

“The killings are alarming. But what makes us more anxious is that the killers are neither being identified nor brought to book,” he added.

Mentioning that 25 non-Muslim persons were murdered in the last two years, Nirmol also castigated the prevailing culture of impunity for such attacks.

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