Centre for Inquiry

Centre for Inquiry

April 18, 2013 08:00 ET

Secular Groups Join Worldwide Protests Against Bangladeshi Blasphemy Laws

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 18, 2013) - On April 25, an international coalition of atheist and humanist organizations led by the Center for Inquiry, the International Humanist and Ethical Union, and American Atheists will protest the arrest and persecution of atheist bloggers in Bangladesh with demonstrations scheduled in London, New York, Washington, Ottawa and Calgary.

Bangladesh has recently been at the centre of a human rights crisis as authorities have detained several prominent bloggers for "hurting religious sentiments" and have arrested two more young people for making "derogatory remarks" about Islam on Facebook. Tens of thousands of protestors, led by the Islamist group Islami Andolan Bangladesh, have rallied in Dhaka, the country's capital, to demand more arrests.

Centre for Inquiry is leading protests in Canada and has made appeals to the newly founded Office of Religious Freedom to urge the government to issue a public statement condemning the arrests and reaffirming its commitment to freedom of expression.

Protest events are confirmed for the following Canadian cities on April 25, 2013:

Ottawa: High Commission for Bangladesh
Constitution Square Centre
340 Albert St, K1R 7Y6 @ 4:30 pm ET
Calgary: Consulate of Bangladesh
633 6th Avenue South West T2P 2Y6 @ 4:30 pm MT

Up-to-date information on protest events can be found at http://bit.ly/defenddissent.

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