An article on the killing of Bangladeshi bloggers was removed by the Pakistani printers of international edition of The New York Times. The censorship left swathes of white spaces on the paper’s pages 1 and 2, reports the UK's The Independent newspaper on its web edition.
The New York Time’s international edition is printed in various countries for local distribution. It clarified that the paper’s printing partner in Pakistan had removed the article and that it was not an editorial decision.
The article - ‘Imperilled bloggers of Bangladesh’ - by The New York Times freelance correspondent Joshua Hammer focused on the brutal attacks on and murders of a group of Bangladeshi bloggers advocating gender equality, human rights and civil liberty and opposing, online, Islamic fundamentalists.
The Pakistan correspondent of The New York Times tweeted two versions of the paper—the international e-paper containing the article and the paper’s physical version printed in Pakistan without it.
The blasphemy law in Pakistan provides for the capital punishment for any criticism of Islam. At the heart of the piece was Asif Mohiuddin, who had to flee Bangladesh after his free thinking, atheist views, and secular blogging put him in severe danger.
After the attack on Mohiuddin, blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider was hacked to death in 2013. In the past two years, bloggers Avijit Roy, Ananta Bijoy Das, Oyasiqur Rahman Babu and Niladri Chatterjee Niloy, and publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan have been hacked to death.
Investigations have pointed to the involvement of Islamist militants in the killings. Some of those arrested are said to have confessed the branding of the bloggers as ‘anti-Islam’ had served a provocation for murders, according to bdnews24.com. -Mithun