William Gomes, a Bangladeshi ex-Muslim and contributor to Islam-watch, attacked by thugs of pro-Islam Bangladesh Nationlist Party activists, while police play silent spectators...

I am William Gomes from Dhaka, Bangladesh. I am former Muslim, now a Christian. I work as a freelance journalist and human rights activist. I monitor incidents of violence on minorities in Bangladesh, and work toward protection of their human rights.

On Wednesday evening, 23 September 2009, the local leader of pro-Islam Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) suddenly attacked my cousin Mohammed Faruk, who came to visit us with his wife. When my father and mother ran to save him, they hurt them as well.

When I ran to the place, they started threatening me that since I have converted to Christianity, I cannot live in that place; I must leave the area now; otherwise, they will kill me. Before for my conversion to Christianity, the people were telling around that they would to kill me if I converted.

I ran from there to my house, and called the local police. The police came to my place. And within a moment, more than 100 thugs came with the local BNP leaders, Mohammed Mijan Bandari and Mohammed Mojibar, and entered my house. I urged the police to make them leave my house, but they ignored my request. The crowd stood their ground in my house, and continued threatening me.

Finally, to save myself from the angry crowd, I followed the police to police station. There I filed a general diary (G.D.). Later on, the perpetrators came with a huge crowd threatening my parents, and forced them to file a memorandum saying that everything has been settled.

The police played a silent spectator in this incident. My family and I remain in fear of persecution and violence by the local Muslim thugs. We feel helpless.

I appeal to Bangladesh government and international community to work toward protection of minorities in Bangladesh, and ensure their human rights.

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