Bangladeshi academic Anisuzzaman gets death threat

Professor Anisuzzaman (file photo) Image copyright Daily Star
Image caption Professor Anisuzzaman received the death threat by text message on Tuesday afternoon

One of Bangladesh's most prominent academics, Professor Anisuzzaman, says he has received a death threat because of his support for secularists.

Five secularists have been killed. An Islamist group said they carried out the most recent attack on a publisher.

Professor Anisuzzaman told local media he filed a police complaint after received the threat in a text message.

He was one of several public figures who issued a statement urging the government to act on the murders.

It comes as the US issued a travel alert for Bangladesh, urging Americans to be cautious after the recent killings of two foreigners.

A Japanese man was shot dead last month and an Italian aid worker was also killed in Dhaka in September in attacks claimed by the Islamic State militant group.

"There is reliable information to suggest that terrorist attacks could occur against foreigners in Bangladesh, including against large gatherings of foreigners," the State Department said in the travel alert.

Anisuzzaman - known only by his surname and a professor of Bengali literature at the Dhaka University - told that the death threat text message "asked in proper English why I support bloggers and if I wanted to die on being struck by machete".

Image copyright AP
Image caption The bloggers' deaths have raised passions in Bangladesh

Timeline: Attacks on bloggers and publishers

  • 27 February: Avijit Roy attacked and killed while walking home from a book fair. His wife Bonya Ahmed was also hurt
  • 30 March: Washiqur Rahman hacked to death near his home in Dhaka
  • 12 May: Blogger Ananta Bijoy Das attacked and killed in Sylhet
  • 7 August: Blogger Niloy Neel hacked to death at home by gang armed with machetes
  • 31 October: Secular publisher Faisal Arefin Dipon is hacked to death in Dhaka

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