More power to them. An update on this story. “Blogger’s death rekindles anti-Islamist protests in Bangladesh,” from Reuters, February 16:
More than 100,000 Bangladeshi protesters, angered by the killing of one of their leaders, poured back onto the streets of the capital on Saturday to demand the death penalty for those found guilty of war crimes in the 1971 independence conflict.The demonstrators, who denounced a life sentence handed down this month on an Islamist leader involved in the war, reversed a decision to scale back demonstrations, now in their 12th day.
Rajib Haider, an architect, was a key figure in organising the demonstrations and wrote a blog devoted to them under the pen name Thaba baba. He was attacked outside his home on Friday night after returning from a 100,000-strong rally in Shahbag Square.
On Saturday, an even larger crowd thronged the square to attend funeral prayers for Haider, many vowing to avenge his death or breaking down in tears as his coffin passed.
Haider’s family told reporters they believed he was stabbed to death for standing up to the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami party and drawing people to the protests. Police said they had detained five suspects.
“Haider’s death has rekindled our spirits,” said Nasiruddin Yusuf, a film-maker. “It will not go in vain.”
Large protests gripped other cities. Security forces patrolled streets in much greater numbers than in previous days.