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Columbia Groups Join International Protest to Support Bangladeshi Atheist Bloggers

Greg L.
user 8659573
Group Organizer
Columbia, MO
Hello Columbia Atheists,


We'll be meeting at Peace Park at Noon to speak up in support of Bangladeshi atheist bloggers who have been persecuted and prosecuted for speaking on Islam and politics, and in support of freedom of expression for everyone.


Columbia Groups Join International Protest to Support Bangladeshi Atheist BloggersActivists Arrested for Blasphemy Face Possible Execution


Columbia, MO—American Atheists, Center for Inquiry, and other organizations are joining together on April 25 for an International Day of Protest in support of 84 atheist and other dissenting bloggers who have published criticisms of Islam. At least 5 have been arrested with warrants pending for the remaining bloggers. Protests are planned in New York City, Washington D.C., Ottawa, Calgary, London, and Columbia, Missouri.


The University of Missouri Skeptics, Atheists, Secular Humanists, and Agnostics (SASHA) and the Columbia Atheists are planning a demonstration of support for the bloggers and freedom of dissent and expression. Organizers call on the public and local organizations to participate in support of freedom of speech and religion.


The Columbia demonstration will start at 12:00 Noon, Thursday, April 25 with speakers and supporters gathering at Speaker’s Circle on the University of Missouri campus.


The bloggers face violence from an extremist Islamic group. One of them has already been killed and another stabbed. The group has called for the execution of the other 82 bloggers. The purpose of the protest is to pressure the Bangladeshi government to release the arrested bloggers and to prevent any more violence.


A statement, signed by more than 110 international nontheistic organization leaders, activists, and bloggers, including American Atheists, states: “We unequivocally condemn the attacks on and threats against atheist, secularist and freethinking bloggers and call on the Bangladeshi government to guarantee their safety, respect free expression and prosecute Islamists who threaten, attack and harm critics. Freedom of expression, including to criticise Islam and Islamism as well as to blaspheme, is a basic right.”


London-based atheist blogger Maryam Namazie has started a petition on the website Change.org where the public can sign on to the statement as well.


Link to the Columbia event, with details: https://www.facebook.com/events/182829738534947/­

More information about the protest and the bloggers is available online at https://www.facebook.com/events/423126964450395­


Additional information is available from Center for Inquiry at bit.ly/defenddissent­. The Twitter hashtag for the protest is #DefendDissent.
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