Forth Bangladeshi humanist blogger Niloy Neel hacked to death by Islamist extremists

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has called on the UK Government to speak out on the growing crisis in Bangladesh, following the murder of a fourth humanist blogger in a very short space of time.

Niloy Chowdhury Neel was killed in his home at midday on Friday 7 August. He was beheaded and his hands were severed.

Niloy was a well-known blogger who was heavily involved in the secularist movement as an organizer for the Science and Rationalist Association Bangladesh. He worked for an NGO and recently completed his Master’s degree in Philosophy.

His death is the fourth in a wave of killings to affect Bangladesh after the prominent humanist writer Avijit Roy was murdered in February, followed by the killings of bloggers Washiqur Rahman and Ananta Bijoy Das in March and May respectively.

His death shows a new boldness on the part of extremists in Bangladesh. Previous attacks happened in broad daylight in busy streets, with local activists recognising that killers have been emboldened by unmotivated police investigations and a culture of impunity around ‘blasphemy’ killings. Niloy's death marks an escalation in the violence as confident killers conned their way into his home to brutalise and behead him for speaking out about religious extremism and writing about Humanism.

Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of the BHA and President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, has challenged the UK Government to act:

‘This latest murder demonstrates once again if further proof were needed that the culture of impunity for these Islamist vigilantes in Bangladesh has become firmly entrenched. We are calling on the UK Government to act swiftly to demonstrate its commitment to freedom of religion or belief and free expression to the Government of Bangladesh.

‘The UK has a duty of conscience to urge this Commonwealth member, with which we have such strong links, to restore freedom and the rule of law and to protect its humanist bloggers.’

For further comment or information, please contact BHA Director of Public Affairs and Campaigns Pavan Dhaliwal at or on 0773 843 5059.