Avijit Roy

On 26 February 2015, two attackers murdered HRD, writer, and engineer Dr. Avijit Roy as he was returning home from the Ekushey Book Fair in Dhaka by bicycle rickshaw with his wife, Bonya Ahmed. Roy, a dual citizen of US and Bangladesh, was the founder of the popular blog Mukto-Mona (Free Thinkers), and author of ten books.

According to witnesses, the attackers dragged Roy and Ahmed from the rickshaw to the pavement before hitting and stabbing Roy with machetes. Ahmed was slashed on her shoulder and had her left hand severed when she attempted to defend her husband. Roy died in hospital later that night. Ahmed survived the attack. A group which refers to itself as “Ansar Bangla 7” claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that Roy’s writings on secularism and human rights were a “crime against Islam.” Prior to his death, Roy received direct death threats on Facebook.

On 11 April 2019 a Dhaka court accepted charges against six members of banned militant outfit Ansar-Al-Islam in a case filed over the killing.

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Date of Killing:26/02/2015

Previous Threats:Yes

Type of Work:Journalist/communicator

Organisation:Blog Mukto-Mona

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:Civil and Political Rights

Sector Detail:Freedom of Expression

More information:Front Line Defenders

1This database records an individual's chosen gender identity. If they do not self-identify as male or female they can use the option of recording other/neither or use the term NBGI (non binary gender identity).