The murderous attacks on Bangladeshi publishers and writers over the weekend are direct attacks on the freedom to publish — a fundamental freedom in all civilized countries.

The International Publishers Association (IPA) joins its member, the Academic and Creative Publishers Association of Bangladesh (ACPAB), in condemning the attacks and demanding that the government protect publishers and writers from all forms of intimidation and violence.

Mr Kamrul Hasan Shayok, Executive Director of ACPAB, said, ‘Attacking and killing publishers is a severe blueprint for stopping a nation’s progress. We demand from the Government of Bangladesh proper punishment for this cruel attack.’

Mr Richard Charkin, President of the IPA, said, ‘These barbarous acts are an affront to humanity and a tragedy for the families of those brave publishers who were murdered or attacked. The IPA is more determined than ever to stand in solidarity with all who uphold freedom to publish as central to a society’s well being. We extend our deepest condolences and sympathy to the families of all the victims.’

Mr José Borghino, Secretary General of the IPA, said, ‘These craven attacks require an immediate and precise response from the Government of Bangladesh. Those who murdered Faisal Arefin Dipan and attempted to murder Ahmed Rahim Tutul must be found and brought to justice. The perpetrators of these horrific acts are trying to divide us. They must not be allowed to succeed.’

Mr Ola Wallin, Chair of the IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee, said, ‘The attack on these publishers in their own offices is an attack on secular Bangladesh. The government must immediately take action to ensure the safety of the brave opinionmakers who work for the common good of the country and its citizens. The brutal violence must be stopped.’

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