Bangladeshi Writer Taslima Nasrin Leaves India for Europe
PEN has been informed that Taslima Nasrin left India for Europe on March 19, 2008. Controversial Bangladeshi feminist writer Taslima Nasrin was placed under protection in a safe house in Delhi on November 21, 2007, following violent protests in her home town of Kolkata, West Bengal, by activists who accuse her of “offending Muslim sentiments” in her writing. Nasrin recently published an account of her deteriorating health and lack of access to medical care since her confinement in Delhi, in which she claimed to be planning to leave India to seek treatment in Europe.
PEN continues to urge the Indian authorities to publicly condemn the violence and death threats against Taslima Nasrin.
Novelist, poet, and journalist Taslima Nasrin is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning writer. She was publicly condemned to death in Bangladesh for "blasphemy" and a reward was offered for her execution on September 16, 1993, by members of an armed militant Muslim group, in response to her novel Lajja (Shame).
Instead of condemning calls for Nasrin’s murder, Bangladesh authorities charged Nasrin, on June 4, 1994, with "deliberate and malicious intention of hurting the religious sentiments" for an interview given to an Indian newspaper. Nasrin fled to Europe on August 19, 1994, and was subsequently given asylum in Sweden. More than 10 years since she fled, Nasrin still cannot return to her homeland without fear for her security. She has lived for the past three years in Kolkata, West Bengal, and has applied for Indian citizenship. Her current visa was recently renewed for another six months.
While her writing is undoubtedly controversial, Nasrin is an active supporter of human rights, and according to the Indian constitution, she should have the right to express her views freely and without fear of attack.
Write A Letter
expressing serious concern about the apparent impunity of attacks against Taslima Nasrin, and urging the authorities to publicly condemn the violence and death threats against her.
Send Your Letter To
Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
Prime Minister’s Office
South Block, Raisina Hill
New Delhi, 110 011
Honorable Chief Minister of West Bengal
Shri Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee
Fax: +033- 22145480
Please copy your appeals to the diplomatic representative for India in your country.
Please check with PEN if sending appeals after April 7, 2008: ftw [at] pen.org