Darkness in Dhaka

Darkness in Dhaka
Darkness in Dhaka


7:30 PM - 8:30 PM


Rogers Communications Centre, Ryerson University
80 Gould St., Room 103, Toronto, Canada

Darkness in Dhaka is presented by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, featuring PEN Canada Programs Manager, Brendan de Caires, as a panelist. Register for this free event here

Darkness in Dhaka: Protecting Free Thought in Bangladesh

So far in 2016, at least nine individuals have been targeted and violently killed in Bangladesh for exercising their right to free expression. It has becoming a shockingly regular occurrence to hear of bloggers, writers and activists found hacked to death in their homes or in the streets by Islamic militants. The Bangladeshi government’s reaction has been almost entirely apathetic, with the Prime Minister blaming the victims for inciting their own murders by speaking out against majority opinion.

Why is this happening, and why does the Bangladeshi government allow these killers to act with impunity? Most importantly, what is the solution?

CJFE will host experts and individuals at the forefront of the fight for justice in Bangladesh, as well as a Bangladeshi blogger who was forced to flee the country after threats to his life.


RAIHAN ABIR  |  Bangladeshi blogger

There is no greater expert on impunity in Bangladesh than Raihan Abir. Raihan is the editor of Mukto-mona, a Bangladeshi blog dedicated to freethinking and science. In 2015, he began to receive regular death threats, and several of his friends and colleagues in Bangladesh werehacked to death.

Raihan had to flee Bangladesh to ensure the safety of himself, his wife and their child. With the help of CJFE’s Journalists in Distress Fund and a myriad of other organizations and individuals, Raihan and his family found refuge in Canada.


Brendan de Caires is the Programs and Communications Coordinator for PEN Canada. He has worked in trade and magazine publishing and has written for The Caribbean Review of Books, the Literary Review of Canada and The Toronto Review of Books.

WIL MCDOWALL  |  Centre for Inquiry Canada

Since attending his first Meetup event in June 2012, Wil quickly busied himself, eagerly getting involved with the Centre for Inquiry Canada in any aspect he could help with.  Prior to accepting the position of Vice Chairperson, Wil filled a number of both national and local roles with CFIC including Lead Volunteer, Social Media Coordinator and Toronto Branch Manager to name a few. While originally coming from a religious background including past aspirations to study Theology, Wil is extremely passionate about secular human rights, critical thinking, and scientific skepticism.

Moderated by MICHELLE SHEPHARD, Toronto Star

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