TIME Bangladesh

Students Who Killed Atheist Bangladeshi Writer Sentenced to Death

Munir Uz Zaman—AFP/Getty Images Bangladeshi activists shout slogans as they march in the street with mock coffins, which symbolize the deaths of secular publishers and bloggers, in Dhaka on Nov. 5, 2015

Ahmed Rajib Haider was hacked to death in 2013

Two students in Bangladesh were sentenced to death on Thursday for killing a prominent atheist writer and blogger in the country’s capital city Dhaka in 2013.

Six others were convicted for their role in the murder of Ahmed Rajib Haider, the BBC reported.

Haider, one of several bloggers demanding the execution of Islamist leaders who committed war crimes during the 1971 conflict that led to the creation of Bangladesh, was hacked to death while returning home from a public rally two years ago.

One student attacked Haider with a meat cleaver, the court said while sentencing him to death. The other student was sentenced in absentia, while the head of Ansarullah Bangla — the group suspected of perpetrating the attack — received a five-year prison term.

The past year saw an uptick in the murders of atheist writers who spoke out against rising Islamic extremism in the South Asian nation, with five of them killed in much the same manner as Haider in 2015.


Read next: The Rise of Islamist Terror in Bangladesh


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