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Blogger Asad Noor sentenced for blasphemy, leaves country, police harass family

An Islam-critical blogger, Asad was charged with blasphemy, on the run until he was detained trying to escape the country. Imprisoned and released on bail, he fled the country.

Asad Noor
Date:
Dec 26, 2017
By:
State
Also Known As:
Asaduzzaman Noor, Nur
Type:
Imprisoned, Exile
Accused of:
Blasphemy
Occupation:
Blogger, activist
Citizen:
Bangladesh
Country:
Bangladesh
Family Members:

Tofazzal Hossain (father), Rabeya Begum (mother)

Bangladeshi blogger Asaduzzaman Noor, better known as Asad Noor, is a critic of Islamism and Islamic fundamentalism. His outspoken online activism has subjected both him and his family to the interference of political authorities, with Asad himself facing criminal charges for his speech.

The first trouble occurred in January 2017, when Asad was 25. For some content he posted on social media which allegedly defamed the Prophet Muhammad and Islam itself, he was arrested and imprisoned at the airport in Dhaka, fleeing his charges under the Information and Communication Technology act. He was held until August 2018, released on bail, and almost immediately imprisoned again before another release in January 2019. Rather than stay in Bangladesh to be thrown back into prison a third time, he took this opportunity to escape to India. The charges were never dropped.

"Local police frequently search our house (in Bangladesh) to try and arrest me … my family has been paying the price for my activism." - Asad Noor

From India, Asad continues his online activism, much to the ire of Bangladeshi authorities. In addition to blogging, he also posts videos to YouTube and Facebook, and in a series of these in July 2020, he accused the Bangladeshi government of persecuting Buddhists in the country, for which he was awarded new charges for “hurting religious sentiments” after Islamists accused him of fomenting religious hatred. During this episode, Asad’s family’s home in Bangladesh was searched and several members of his family were detained

Asad, nonetheless, continues to write and speak.

Bangladesh

Blasphemy law in Bangladesh allows the state to arrest, trial and imprison any person who has intention of hurting "religious sentiments." While the state does not have any law against apostasy, vigilantism or non-state groups prosecute apostates on their own. Vigilante violence has been an especially acute issue, most notably in the mid-2010s when a string of secularist and atheist bloggers suffered murder and attempted murder at the hands of Islamist extremists.

Cases in Bangladesh
Tithy Sarker arrested, suspended from university for blasphemous Facebook posts
Bangladeshi Hindu Sanjoy Rakhit charged with blasphemy over Facebook post
Mohammed Sohel accused of Facebook blasphemy, charged; riots ensue
Headmaster of girls' school arrested, jailed for "hurting religious sentiments"
Hindu Titu Roy sentenced to ten years' imprisonment on blasphemy charges
College student Ishrat Jahan charged with blasphemy, sentenced to over two years in prison
Secular publisher Tutul and and bloggers Ranadipam Basu and Tareq Rahim hacked, cleaved, shot
Former leader of Bangladeshi Hindu group jailed for Facebook blasphemy
Journalist Nazrul Biswas threatened with death for secularism
College student Akash Saha arrested for blasphemous Facebook post
19-year-old Ahan Chandra Das arrested on blasphemy charges
Science teacher Hriday Mondal arrested and detained for blaspheming while teaching
Bangladeshi blogger Subrata Adhikari Shuvo arrested for blasphemy
Bangladeshi blogger Mashiur Rahman Biplob arrested for blasphemy
Bangladeshi blogger Rasel Parvez arrested for blasphemy
Bangladeshi politician Abdul Latif Siddique arrested and imprisoned for criticizing hajj
Professor Rezaul Karim Siddique hacked to death by ISIS for "calling to atheism"
Blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider hacked to death
Author-blogger Ananta Bijoy Das murdered for criticizing Islamism
Cartoonist Arifur Rahman twice sentenced, imprisoned, and driven to exile for cartoon
Blogger Asad Noor sentenced for blasphemy, leaves country, police harass family
Atheist blogger Asif Mohiuddin imprisoned after being stabbed by Awlaki-inspired jihadists
Blogger Dr. Avijit Roy and wife attacked with meat cleavers; Avijit killed
Thousands demand execution of Biplob Chandra Baidya Shuvo, framed for Facebook blasphemy
Secular publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan hacked to death, al-Qaeda claims responsibility
Prominent agnostic author-linguist-poet Humayun Azad mangled in brutal jihadist machete attack
Secular blogger Ananya Azad placed on hit list, forced into exile
Jibon Krishna Roy given seven years in prison for blaspheming Muhammad
Teenage bloggers Kazi Raihan and Ullash Das mobbed, jailed for Facebook comments
Secularist Mahmudul Haque Munshi assaulted while targeted for murder by Islamists
Law student and secular activist Nazimuddin Samad assassinated by jihadist gunmen for blasphemy
Bangladeshi atheist blogger Niloy Neel hacked to death in own home
Blogger Omi Rahman Pial forced into hiding after jihadists place him on active hit list
Author-activist Saniur Rahman stabbed in head and legs in attempted murder
Sociology professor Shafiul Islam hacked to death for banning burqa in class
Shahidunnabi Jewel beaten to death, set aflame for "dishonoring Qur'an"
Secular publisher and outspoken freethinker Shahzahan Bachchu assassinated by jihadist gunmen
Poet and liberal intellectual Shamsur Rahman survives assassination attempt by jihadists
Prolific ex-Muslim writer Taslima Nasrin subjected to execution fatwas backed by 100,000 demonstrators
Blogger Washiqur Rahman hacked to death on busy street by Islamic seminary students