We here at ICRF are perhaps blessed to have made so much progress over the relatively short period of time we have been active. We would like to thank our loyal supporters, contributors and of course our hard working volunteers.
It was prudent to start in such a manner because in the recent past members of the ICRF have had to go through some chastening experiences. Indeed, it is becoming a worrying trend within our organization to find one of our colleagues and affiliates in some sort of trouble or the other. Of course, as an ICRF faithful you must have already been aware of such things.
Today it is with difficulty again that we have to digest the news that one of our hardworking colleagues over at the Public Relations department, Mr. Roosevelt Halder is the subject of not one but two separate blasphemy lawsuits in Bangladesh.
As regrettable as the situation is, we are quite concerned about the situation at the moment. Once we had gotten in touch with our colleague Mr. Halder about this, he informed us that both lawsuits accuse him of allegedly making “derogatory remarks” against religion. Indeed Mr. Halder told us he was not even aware of his plight and had to extract copies of the lawsuits filed against him with great difficulty. However he did reveal the dates and times of the lawsuits filed, they are as follows,
Date of the first lawsuit: 25/04/2017, C.R case number: 129/17
Date of the second lawsuit: 13/07/2017, C.R case number: 224/17
We understand Mr. Halder has been accused of allegedly publishing derisory articles about Islam within online and published magazines maintained by an organization called ’Atheist In Bangladesh’. Both lawsuits have apparently been filed in accordance with the much debated and notorious Bangladesh Penal code 295.
Nonetheless, we would like to take this opportunity to express our revulsion at this incident. Our colleague Halder is a hardworking man, and a pioneer of free thought, part of a breed which is currently on the verge of extinction. It is extremely unlikely that he would have indulged himself in constructive criticism without enough proof to supplement his theses about religion. It appears he is an unwitting victim of what currently is an ongoing process, the forceful strangulation of freedom of speech in Bangladesh.
As for the moment, full details of the case are unavailable to us but we are in constant contact with our colleague about this, who after all has other responsibilities to tend to. Nevertheless, we promise to keep you updated on any developments regarding the cases. Meanwhile, our thoughts and prayers go with Mr. Roosevelt Halder and his family, who are now going through an adverse and challenging period in their lives. In a vote of confidence, we would like to tell Mr. Halder that the ICRF is here for him should he require our help with anything.
We wish Mr. Halder all the best in his future endeavors.