Last night, I read yet another report on a blogger being killed. This time it was a man, Evany Jose Metzker, from Brazil who was decapitated for speaking out about political corruption. It stood as a stark reminder of the benefits of living in a free society. The other day, I posted about political correctness and the freedom of speech. This is the flip side of that coin, and it’s disgusting.
Metzker, most recently, had been looking into the operation of a child prostitution organization and posted on his blog Coruja Do Vale. He knew the risks and was aware of the dangers Brazilian bloggers and journalists face. Murder is common. CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalists) Research is on record as saying that 14 journalists have been murdered since 2011. During his career, he’s tackled subjects involving government leaders and politicians. Men and women, like Metzker, must be admired for the service they perform.
The recent killings in Bangladesh are most likely the result of a group called the Defenders of Islam. Ananta Das had been critical in his posts especially on the tenets of fundamentalist religion. He was also an advocate of science and keen on the interpretation of religion against a scientific backdrop. Religious fanatics, especially Islamic extremists, are particularly ruthless and deadly as we see in the increasingly frequent news stories coming from Syria and Iraq. It is hard to imagine the courage it takes for writers like Das and the many who have been murdered in Bangladesh before him in the face of that danger.
In their honor, I have set up a page to remember them. For all who read this post, no matter where in the world you are, if you know of any blogger who’s voice has been silenced, please let me know. I would like to add their names here.