WASHINGTON (AP) -- Human rights groups want the U.S. to offer sanctuary to Bangladeshi writers targeted by Islamic extremists for their secular beliefs.
A coalition of rights organizations, led by the PEN American Center, made the appeal in a letter Monday to Secretary of State John Kerry. They warned that a group of writers, bloggers and publishers are in urgent danger. Five have been killed this year and dozens more have been publicly threatened.
The letter urges the U.S. to provide sanctuary for a limited number of high-profile secularists. It says that the Bangladeshi government has not provided adequate protection, and in some cases has urged bloggers to self-censor or leave the country. Some secular bloggers have been arrested on charges of insulting religious sentiments.