On February 1st, the Hamburger Stiftung für politisch Verfolgte welcomed their new guest Nur Nobi Dulal (46) from Bangladesh in the safety of Hamburg. Nur Nobi Dulal will be relocated away from danger for the next twelve months, as part of a relocation programme funded by ProtectDefenders.eu and supported by Amnesty International and PEN International.
As a blogger, writer and filmmaker, Dulal has been campaigning for the freedom of speech, women’s rights and against religious oppression as well as terrorism in his home country for years. Just as long, he has been threatened by islamists but also by the Bangladeshi government. Because in his home country the writer is in constant danger of being killed by a radical Islamist movement, the Dulal family has had to relocate again and again since 2015. Moreover, he risks up to 14 years of imprisonment due to his criticism of state and religion on the basis of article 57 of the “Information and Communication Technology Act” of the Bengali penal code.
In 2011, Nur Nobi Dulal was voted Bangladesh’s “Blogger of the Year“. In 2012, he founded the Online Activist Forum, which is advocating the freedom of speech. His blog Itishon, founded in 2013 – in terms of readership the second largest blog of the country – was shut down by the authorities on 25 September 2016. In addition, he runs the online bookstore iKarigor.com, which is renowned for its liberal and religion-critical range of books.
In 2013, the terrorist group Hefazat published the names of 84 "Islamophobic" bloggers, among others Dulal’s name. So far, eight of these bloggers have been murdered. Dulal’s name is also on a death list of the terror organization Ittehadul Mujahedini. According to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the situation has recently become even more serious. Those affected cannot count on protection by the police.