#UK US victim laments attacks on free speech in Bangladesh


WASHINGTON (AP) — An American-Bangladeshi writer who survived a machete attack by Muslim extremists that killed her husband is raising alarm about intimidation and violence in the troubled South Asian country.

Rafida Bonya Ahmed starkly described a sequence of gruesome assaults on secular bloggers, writers and publishers that has left five dead. She and her husband Avijit Roy, a prominent critic of religious extremism, were set upon in a crowded street in the capital Dhaka in February.

Ahmed, who lives in the United States, said “bloody days are becoming a norm” in Bangladesh. She criticized authorities for failing to bring perpetrators to justice and for restrictions against free speech.

She spoke Tuesday at a briefing organized by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.

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