Bhutanese journalist faces charges of defamation following social media share
- Namgay Zam, an independent journalist, has been accused of defaming a prominent Bhutanese businessman after sharing a critical post on Facebook.
- The post targeted a property dispute involving the businessman, and the author, Dr. Shacha Wangmo, was charged with libel and petty misdemeanor.
- If convicted, Zam faces a fine of up to 2.59 million Bhutanese ngultrum—around $38,500, or 10 times the average salary of a journalist—or up to three years in prison.
“Bhutan journalist hit by defamation suit for sharing Facebook post” (The Guardian)
“Lawsuit Over Facebook Post Raises Fears of Online Censorship in Bhutan” (Global Voices Advox)
“In Bhutan, a Facebook Post Leads to Defamation Charges” (The Diplomat)
(Image Credit: via The Guardian)
Hundreds of Rohingya flee Myanmar for Bangladesh as violence spreads
- Clashes between government forces and militants have left at least 130 dead and sent hundreds of Rohingya Muslims fleeing across the border into Bangladesh.
- Some reports indicated those attempting to cross the border were gunned down or had their boats pushed away.
- The district at the border has been locked down by Burmese soldiers, cutting off aid agencies and independent observers as reports of mass rape and looting have trickled out.
“Hundreds of Rohingya flee Myanmar army crackdown to Bangladesh: sources” (Reuters)
“Hundreds of Rohingya try to escape Myanmar crackdown” (BBC News)
“Violence in Burma Has Sent Hundreds of Rohingya Muslims Fleeing to Bangladesh” (TIME)
Terrorist attack and standoff in Bangladesh kills at least 20, injures 30
- Seven gunmen attacked the Holey Artisan Bakery, a popular restaurant in Dhaka’s diplomatic quarter, and took hostages for 11 hours before security forces stormed in.
- The restaurant was popular with immigrants and other foreigners, and gunmen allegedly ordered Bangladeshis to stand before attacking foreign patrons including Italians, Japanese, Indians, and Sri Lankans.
- The attack, claimed by the Islamic State, is the largest in an escalating series targeting secularists, gay activists, foreigners, and religious minorities in the country.
“20 Hostages and Six Gunmen Killed in Bangladesh Attack” (The New York Times)
“Islamist militants kill 20 in Bangladesh before commandos end siege” (Reuters)
“20 killed execution-style” (Dhaka Tribune)
“Fate of seven Japanese among Bangladesh hostages unknown after siege ends” (The Japan Times)
(Image Credit: Reuters, via The Japan Times)
Hindu teacher attacked as Bangladesh cracks down on Islamist militants
- Ribon Chakraborty, a college math teacher, survived a machete attack by three assailants in his home in Madaripur.
- The government reported that the three attackers were a part of the banned group Hizb ut-Tahrir.
- More than 11,000 have been arrested across the country in the last week, including political dissidents, as security forces have begun taking extensive action to combat the targeted killings of minorities that have left more than 30 dead since 2015.
“Hizb ut-Tahrir men hacked Madaripur teacher” (Dhaka Tribune)
“Bangladesh Hindu teacher’s attacker killed in shootout” (Reuters)
“194 Held in Bangladesh Mass Arrests May Have Militant Ties, Police Say” (The New York Times)
IS claims responsibility for murder of Bangladeshi Hindu and alleged Christian
- Debesh Chandra Pramanik, 68, died after a hacking attack in his shoe shop in the northwest district of Gaibandha.
- The attack followed the hacking death of a doctor in Kushtia Islamist militants alleged was a Christian.
- The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, though the government continues to maintain that IS has no presence in Bangladesh and is attempting to hijack the work of other militant groups.
“Islamic State claims fatal stabbing of Bangladeshi Hindu: monitor SITE” (Reuters)
“Doctor Killed in Bangladeshi Machete Attack” (The New York Times)
“Shahriar rubbishes IS claims” (Dhaka Tribune)
Militant arrested in connection to murder of LGBT activists in Bangladesh
- Shariful Islam, also known as Shihab, was arrested in the district of Kushtia in connection with the deaths of Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy.
- Though Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the murders, Dhaka police say Islam was affiliated with the banned local militant group Ansarullah Bangla Team.
- Since 2013, only one in the series of killings of atheists, moderates, and foreigners in Bangladesh has been prosecuted.
“Suspect arrested over murders of Bangladesh LGBT rights activist Xulhaz, his friend Tonoy” (bdnews24.com)
“Bangladesh police arrest Islamist over gay activists’ killing” (Reuters)
“Bangladesh police arrest suspect in stabbing death of USAID worker” (AP via The Chicago Tribune)
(Image Credit: AP photo, via The Chicago Tribune)
LGBT magazine editor murdered in Dhaka home as killings continue in Bangladesh
- Xulhaz Mannan and a visiting friend were hacked to death by a group of youth posing as couriers to gain access to Mannan’s home.
- Mannan was the editor of Roopbaan, Bangladesh’s only LGBT magazine, and a USAid worker.
- The murders are the latest in ongoing attacks against minority intellectuals and follow the detention of LGBT activists attempting to march in Bengali New Year festivities.
“Editor of Bangladesh’s first and only LGBT magazine killed” (The Guardian)
“LGBT magazine Roopbaan editor hacked to death” (The Dhaka Tribune)
“LGBT activist among two hacked to death in Dhaka” (The Hindu)
(Image Credit: via The Guardian)