Islamist Murderers Receive Death Sentences After Killing Blogger

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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Students convicted of murdering an atheist blogger with a meat cleaver in Bangladesh received death penalties, according to a BBC report.

A group of eight radical Islamist students ambushed Ahmed Rajib Haider in February 2013 as he walked home from a rally in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, hacking him to death with a meat cleaver. Of the eight students, two were given the death penalty.

Haider vocally criticized Islamist leaders and called for their executions for crimes committed during Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence. He is also known to have mocked Muhammad, Islam’s primary prophet, on his blog. Bangladeshi authorities have since censored anti-Islam blogs.

The students who murdered Haider belong to the radical Islamist group Ansarullah Bangla. The head of the organization, Jashim Uddin Rahmani, was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in abetting the murderers, The Guardian reported. Rahmani is a known radical cleric, and allegedly inspired Haider’s murder.

Faisal bin Nayeem, the primary cleaver-wielder, was given a death sentence. Rezwanul Azad Rana also received a death sentence in absentia, and is currently considered a fugitive on the run in Bangladesh. The five other perpetrators were given various prison sentences for their complicity in the murder.

“I’m not happy with the verdict. I reject this verdict. Five of them confessed their involvement in the killing. But only two were given death sentence. How is it possible?,” said Mohammad Nazim Uddin, Haider’s father.

Haider’s murder was one of a slew of attacks on atheist bloggers who were hacked to death from 2013 to 2015 by radical Islamist mobs wielding cleavers and machetes. Avijit Roy, one of the victims butchered in March, was a U.S. citizen. (RELATED: Machete Wielding Islamists Target 3rd Blogger Victim In Bangladesh)

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