John Kerry asked to act on murder of Avijit Roy

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Washington, March 3:  A bipartisan group of six US Congressmen has asked Secretary of State John Kerry to ensure that those behind the brutal murder of American-Bangladeshi blogger Avijit Roy is brought to justice.

"We must stand strong for freedom of speech and freedom of thought," said the letter signed by Congressmen Mike Honda, Ed Royce, Eliot Engel, Grace Meng, Steve Chabot and Ami Bera. Noting that the attacks around the world by religious fanatics against freedom of speech advocates was growing, they said the US cannot allow extremists to operate with impunity.

Avijit Roy murder: Kerry asked to act

"The US Embassy and Department of State must remain engaged, and work with Bangladesh's government, to insist that Roy's killers are brought to justice, and to ensure that threats to other secularists, and writers in Bangladesh are taken seriously," the letter said.

"We’re writing this letter to reiterate the United States’ commitment to combat extremism, stand strong for freedom of speech and freedom of thought, and seek justice under the rule of law," Honda said.

"The United States and Bangladesh must work together to protect the fundamental right to freedom of speech that Avijit Roy embodied. I urge the State Department and US Embassy to act swiftly to bring justice to those responsible for Roy’s murder," Bera said.

Roy, known for his critique of religious extremism, was hacked to death in the university area in Dhaka by machete- wielding assailants who attacked the writer as he was returning from the book fair with his wife on Thursday.

PTI

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