11 June 2018 – PEN International is deeply saddened and concerned at today’s news that publisher and writer, Shahzahan Bachchu, was murdered in Munshiganj, Bangladesh earlier today. We are seeking further information. We call on Bangladeshi authorities to investigate his killing thoroughly and promptly and bring all those responsible to justice.
PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee chair, Salil Tripathi, said:
‘The news from Munshiganj today is horrifying. In what appears to be a case of targeted assassination, Shahzahan Bachchu, a publisher, has been murdered this evening. We do not know all details of the case yet, but it is clear that Bangladesh remains a dangerous place for writers and publishers. Since 2013, 9 bloggers, writers and publishers who have expressed themselves freely have been killed, and in most cases, the attackers have enjoyed impunity. Instead of making the writers and publishers feel secure, senior officials have advised writers to write cautiously, bearing in mind the sensitivities of those who claim offence. Instead, Bangladesh’s Government should pursue the assailants in this and other cases with a sense of urgency and vigour, and reassure the country’s writers and publishers that their right to express themselves freely will be protected.’